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Literature 2 Pages

Barthes’ Death Of The Author


Please write a response to a series of questions that we pose to the two texts (1-"the death of the author" by Barthes, 2-"the author of function" by Foucault), that explore the construction of this genealogy of thought on the role of authorship: in what ways are Barthes and Foucault engaged in the same conversation? In what ways do they diverge?

Roland Barthes proposes in “The Death of the Author,” that the author is an ideological construction that allows us to consider a text as univocal. To Michel Foucault, an author is more a function of a text’s reception and a creation of a text’s readers than the creative genius of a work of art: we may still speak of authors but as historical, constructed entities.

Please only use texts by Foucault and Barthes as sources.


Title: Barthes’ Death Of The Author
Length: 2 pages (550 Words)
Style: MLA


Foucault and Barthes on Author's Influence

Barthes’ Death of the Author

            In Barthes writing, he considers readers who interpret a text following the identity of the author. Identity of an author involves their geographical positions, what they feel about politics, their psychological orientations, and personal feelings. According to Roland Barthes, readers have a characteristic of using the identity of the author to overcome ambiguities in his text, therefore, making the text univocal. He goes ahead to give a case study of Sarrasine Balzas’s work, where he describes a woman as a being with unexpected fears, uncontrollable whims, and admirable sensibility. Barthes explains this with questions. He does not understand if the description is from some writing creativity, or Balza’s personal experience, or his philosophical understanding of women. He, therefore, recommends that readers view this as a combination of all factors and not dwell on the identity or creativity reasoning lines about a text (Barthes 142-143).


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