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Foucault on the ‘question of the author’: a critical exegesis

Wilson, A. (2004) Foucault on the ‘question of the author’: a critical exegesis. The Modern Language Review, 99 (2). pp. 339-363. ISSN 0026-7937

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Abstract

This analysis of Foucault's ‘What is an Author?’ produces three main findings. First, Foucault was arguing—subtly yet powerfully—against Barthes's ‘The Death of the Author’. Second, ‘What is an author?’ systematically mystified the figure of the text, even as it clarified the figure of the author by revealing that figure to be an interpretative construct. Third, Foucault's achievement was vitiated by the terms in which it was cast, for his concept of the ‘author-function’ obliterated the personal quality of the author-figure. It is suggested in conclusion that all such interpretative figures—‘text’ as well as ‘author’, and many others besides—merit critical analysis, since these embody the fore-having which precedes interpretation.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2004 Modern Humanities Research Association. Uploaded with permission from the publisher.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds) > Division of the History and Philosophy of Science (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2008 20:22
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:05
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4458

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