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Essay: Death of the Author (1968) - Roland Barthes
Related: art - audience - auteur theory - authorial intention - books - creativity - fiction - genius - inspiration - narrative - reader - story - text - writer - writing - work
Georges Bataille (1897-1962), photo unidentified
In Bataille any human being is no more than a conduit for communicative process, a channel for ideas which pass through him/her."If, as it appears to me, a book is communication, then the author is only a link among many readings."* The author is simply a node on a network, through which ideas pass. -- Bernardo Attias via http://acjournal.org/holdings/vol6/iss3/responses/attias/virus.html, accessed May 2004
The word author has several meanings:
- The author of a book, story, article or the like, is the person who has written it (or is writing it). This can be short or long, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, technical or literature; in particular it is a profession (doing this for pay).
- An author is someone who originates or causes or initiates something.
- The same as definition number 1, but applied to music. The sole fact of creating a sequence of notes, even if they are not written on paper, might give someone the title of author of a melody, chords sequence, arrangement, etc.
Sometimes, the French word Auteur is used to denote the authorship of a movie, meaning the Director of the movie.
Cult of authorship
One of Shakespeare's strengths, Honan argues persuasively, was his ability to annihilate himself in his plays, or at least vividly imagine life from other perspectives--a talent manifested in his fully-formed female characters. He's not afraid to point out that Shakespeare had bad days; pasteboard figures spout clunky lines in some of his plays. Interestingly, the cult of authorship hadn't fully flowered in Shakespeare's time. Many plays evolved in rehearsals and performances, in give-and-take with actors and audiences, as rock songs often do nowadays. Playwrights of Shakespeare's time copied each other's ideas and rummaged through the past for inspiration, much like today's Hollywood screenwriters. Shakespeare: A Life reminds us that great art can be made amidst the hurly-burly of deadlines and commerce. --Dave Luhrssen http://www.shepherd-express.com/shepherd/20/18/night_and_day/books.html [Dec 2004]
In an article titled "The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism," Crimp explained how Levine had undermined a Modernist cult of authorship by demonstrating that images are as much found as made, and not found in nature but in other images. Even photographs, Crimp argued, are not about reality, but are about ideas, an unending chain of idealizing desires. Like Newhall, he too used a comparison of the Neils with ancient Greek sculpture, but for a different purpose: --http://www.ipce.info/library_3/files/higonnet_text.htm [Dec 2004]
Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920) - T.S. Eliot
Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920) - T.S. Eliot [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to “the tradition” or to “a tradition”; at most, we employ the adjective in saying that the poetry of So-and-so is “traditional” or even “too traditional.” Seldom, perhaps, does the word appear except in a phrase of censure. If otherwise, it is vaguely approbative, with the implication, as to the work approved, of some pleasing archæological reconstruction. You can hardly make the word agreeable to English ears without this comfortable reference to the reassuring science of archæology.
“No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead” .
see also: tradition - individual - T. S. Eliot - literature - lit crit - 1920
Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) - Luigi Pirandello
- Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) - Luigi Pirandello [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Play in three acts by Luigi Pirandello, produced and published in Italian in 1921 as Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore. Introducing Pirandello's device of the "theater within the theater," the play explores various levels of illusion and reality. It had a great impact on later playwrights, particularly such practitioners of the Theater of the Absurd as Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Jean Genet, as well as Jean Anouilh and Jean-Paul Sartre.--The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
The theme Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author has been weaved into film a number of times: the Lickerish Quartet by Metzger, Pasolini's Teorema. Francois Ozon's Sitcom is said to be based on Teorema.
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