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For Foucault, as for Roland Barthesthe notion of the author must come into question. The system that produced the author function is a system of ownership and, by the end of the 18th century, the author was placed at the center of a system of property.
Like Barthes, Foucault was acting against Structuralism or a formal reading of a literary work and was opposed to the concept of expression, a holdover of Romantic thinking.
Writing was identified with its own unfolded exteriorly—an interplay of signs arranged to the nature of signifiers. Like Barthes, Foucault used drastic language to get his point across. Writing, he stated, is linked to sacrifice: Writing cancels out signs of particular individuality so that, ironically, the sign of the writer is the singularity of absence.
The writer has the role of the dead person involved in a game of writing. Like Ann Radcliffe, who created the Gothic Novel which inspired a genre that continues to this day, like Karl Marx whose followers created Marxist theory, these individuals started discourses and disappeared into the discourse.
The author is the principle of thrift in the proliferation of meaning. As a result we must entirely reverse the traditional idea of the author.
In separating the author from his or her body of work, Foucault shifted literature into discourse, so that individual works become part of a larger body of texts.
Foucault, however, seemed to view the author as being implicated in a system of thought that was mired in personification and personalization that got in the way of the preferred object of study: We would no longer hear the questions that have been rehashed for so long: Is it really he and not someone else?
And what part of his deepest sell did he express in his discourse? Instead, there would be other questions, like these: Who can assume these various subject functions? What difference does it make who is speaking?
Although Foucault, like Barthes, was writing against the social constraints against meaning, his last sentence would be taken out of context and used to obliterate the writing of the Other and to elide the fact that the canon of writers and artists still consisted of the white male.
Foucault, like most of the men of his era, did not spend much time considering women or emphasizing with people of color. Interpretation sets up a play against the original text and leads to infinite regression. Without this contextual tool, critique becomes difficult and Foucault, as did his colleagues, carefully neutered critique and rendered social criticism mute, coincidentally or not, at the time of a struggle for the rights of women and people of color.
If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr.Michel Foucault: "What is an Author?" Michel Foucault is not a Freudian, a Marxist, a structuralist, a phenomenologist, a sociologist, or a historian, but his work draws on ideas and assumptions and methods from all of these areas or disciplines.
The Differences between Barthes and Foucault on Authorship Monica Lancini, English , The basic difference between Barthes' essay and Foucault's one is the general perspective on the subject of authorship, which doesn't prevent them from coming to similar conclusions. Jul 01, · Michel Foucault and the Authorship Question.
July 11, at P.M. The following essay was subjected to numerous attacks when I first posted it at MSN and blogger.
Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael. This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.
) is a lecture on literary theory given at the Collège de France on 22 February by French philosopher, sociologist and historian Michel Foucault.
 The work considers the relationship between author, text, and reader; concluding that. What Is an Author? Michel Foucault, The coming into being of the notion of "author" constitutes the privileged moment of individualization in the history .