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Postmodern Theories on Author Some Preliminary Ideas & Overview.

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1 Postmodern Theories on Author Some Preliminary Ideas & Overview

2 Outline General Issues Post-Structuralist Theorists (textuality vs. originality) Roland Barthes Michel Foucault Derrida Metafictionists The Death and Return of the Author, How? The Death and Return of the Author Feminists? Feminists

3 General Issues Author Creativity and originality   ‘ Nothing is created out of nothing. ’ Author-ity (author-god) (omnipresence, omniscience) Relations with readers Authorship (of a text, of one ’ s life, of history) and Subjectivity Text Definitions of work, text, discourse, ecriture “ Death ” or inscription of the author, the multiple “ I ” Textual frames and boundaries

4 Background New Criticism and Formalism –’ objective correlatives ’ or objective meanings Structuralism – langue, structure Poststructuralism – textuality

5 Roland Barthes Work & Text – differences in terms of method (product/process), genres(limit/breaking), signs (closure/infinite deferment), plurality (final/passage and intertextual), filiation (organism/network), reading/play (consumption/text plays, play the text as if it were a musical score), pleasure (pleasure/jouissance). Author & Reader

6 Roland Barthes (2) The Pleasure of the Text – “ As institution, the author is dead: his civic status, his biographical person have disappeared... But in the text, in a way, I desire the author: I need his he needs mine... “ (qtd Burke 29) Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes : Barthes (who will ‘ eat a plum, take a piss ’ ) R.B., he, ‘ I ’.

7 Michel Foucault “ What is an Author? ” Two parts of his article – 1. “ What does it matter who is speaking? ” – to the concluding answer that it does not matter; also introduction of the contemporary denial of author; 2. Re-definition of author as author function and discursive founders.

8 Metafictionists "If you are a novelist of a certain type of temperament, then what you really want to do is re-invent the world... God wasn't too bad a novelist, except he was a Realist... “ “ Oh God comma I abhor self- consciousness. ” ("Title," Lost in the Funhouse, p. 110.) E.g. The French Lieutenant ’ s Woman, John Barth ’ s novels, Slaughterhouse-V (& other novels by Vonnegut), Stuntman, Icicle Thief, etc.

9 Death and Return of the Author, How? Expansion of the definition of ‘ author ’ to include readers and critics. “...the secondary becomes primary, the supplement is at the origin; criticism finds itself within literature ” (Burke 160) More specific theories on authorship are needed.

10 Feminists? Feminist K ü nstlerinroman – constructing an artist subjectivity by writing one ’ s self into a “ re-visioned ” history (problematic inscription of authorial selves into a re-written history) e.g. theories of postmodern historiography, feminist autobiography, etc.

11 Reference Burke, Sean. The Death and Return of the Author : Criticism and Subjectivity in Barthes, Foucault and Derrida. Edinburgh UP, 1998

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