According to foucault, the author function serves to differentiate one
text from another.
They also create expectations
So does it matter who wrote this story ?
you lived with fairy tales all your life. You never cared who wrote the
Keyline: Author function is not universal or constant in all discourse.
( Foucault, What is an author)
if i tell you that this was written by
james joyce when he was 10, before his "portrait of an artist as a
how does it affect yr reading of the text ?
will you see it as a prefigure of great genius ?
or as an e.g. of how he became a much better writer?
OK . So you are firmly insistent that I am the
traditional methods of attributing authorship ,as stated in Foucault's
What is an author? suggest
four major criteria for telling what is an author's work
1) consistent style
2) consistent ideology/doctrine
3)author as a historical figure around which the
writings revolve( meaning works
have to be written when author is alive).
4) same standard of writing
All right. Say you know "me" personally as a religious freak. I have
never expressed any faith in
existentialism or doubts. So am I the author of this short piece
replete with existentialist fear? And swearing? would this be
with my "doctrine" ? Or to
explain it further how about T.S. Eliot ? Is he the author of works
as The Wasteland, Old
Possum's Book of Practical cats and Choruses from the rock ? Without
historical background, style
and ideology is sufficiently different to cast doubt. So is using an
author's individuality to define
a work and gauge its merit a good method? Or even using the premise of
the unity or the longing for
unity within the writer? What if Eliot, like the Steppenwolf had many
selves ? To see the unity
despite the chaos created by divergent texts he wrote throughout his
career based on his supposed
unity would then be a fallacy.
is the true author Milan Kundera? I stole his
method of making philosophical and psychological generalizations.
the sciences, we have Newton's law of gravity, which is strangely
bizarrely seen as Newton's property in some way , then is not my short
paragraph Kundera's ? He made it possible for me to write this way. He
authored this method of writing. But they are thoughts which are
derived from this entity called Pei-Lin. Whose then is this ? His or
mine ? Or no one's ? Can writing/ ideas be owned ?
then again, although Freud has been acknowledged as the initiator
discourse, Freud always claimed he got his ideas from Dostoevsky
Freud articulated his ideas more blatantly and thus got the credit for
psychoanalysis, yet without Dostoevsky, there would be no Freud. So who
is the author then of psychanalysis ? Does it matter ? Furthermore no
Dostoevsky, there will be no religious existentialist angst in the
dream. So must works be written during Dostoevsky's lifetime ? Can he
not be the author of my work ? So is author function important ?
Multiple egos as mentioned by Foucault.
Is the PeiLin in the short
person as the author Pei-Lin ?
What is my name ?
Pei-Lin. Do you know that there are tons of Pei-Lins out there ? So if
you believe that there is such thing as an author what happens when you
say Pei-Lin ? OR Joyce for that matter ? are you calling out to the
individual who is called Pei-Lin or are you referring the school of
thought/type of works I have written .And in Joyce's case are you
referring to him as an individual, or to others of the same moniker or
to the modernist
writer ? Then again, what if the the writer of Joyce's fiction was
actually George Herbert ?
If it is George Herbert, then how would you see the works formerly
adduced to Joyce and even Herbert's works? Earlier on, Herbert
religious poetry that was orthodox and taut, tightly structured. Now
that you know he wrote Joyce's works ? Does this change the way you see
Herbert's poetry and Ulysses or Finnegans Wake? Was it not in earlier
times, that Herbert's name was the touchstone for you to differentiate
that sort/style of religious poetry from other texts such the more
erotic works of Donne ( again, Donne's name here is used to signify a
cluster of works supposedly similar either thematically or
According to Foucault.Freud was an initiator of discourse. Good. So
it's obvious to anyone that my writing possessed several Freudian
Dreams as the place where we work out anxieties such as losing control
So now enters Freud. Then is Milan Kundera truly the author of books
like the Unbearable Lightness of Being ?
Sex is obviously important in that novel. And sex, fortunately or no,
inextricably linked to Freud. So should half the
credit go to the Freud ?
Who am I?
O you think it's me.
So who am I ? as the author ?
does it matter if you know i am an
undergraduate doing english literature ?
and that i am living in a post-joyce period ?
How will you evaluate the work then ?
as that from a literary hack ?
are you not then dominated by the idea of the sovereignty of the
indeed now that you know "I" wrote this piece, then am i really the
author of this work ?
I have merely applied joycean methods of stream of consciousness and
focus on banality.
furthermore did i really create this piece ?
has joyce like Freud in a way,
level of discourse in the literary world ?
Mortality and immortality.
Will this work survive me and in some way extend my immortality ?
Or then again, has it effaced me as a personality ?
IS this why "I" (character) am so anxious in the airplane and the dream where I am falling
In the bottomless pit, i am
Has the author projected her fear into her story ? But this goes back
the author as a historical
Why should you care if I am the
Is this because you in some way are afraid of my ideas and want, like
what Foucault and Barthes, say, to punish me for my ideas, for
you of the existentialist
always harboured. Thus by pinning ideas on me you can push ideas away
ideas being abstract cannot be struggled against. Not People. Is this
why I always have this insatiable desire to look at the autobiography
people whose websites I search ? in thinking that when I see their
photos and know the details of their lives I remove the danger ideas
pose to me and punish the "person" responsible for frightening me ?
Books were assigned real authors'only when the author became subject to
punishment (Foucault, What is an author)
And yet is this bad, attributing ideas and stories to me ? Will I not
benefit economically? That is if I can sell my "works" ?
So is not society that which defines/designates someone as the author
Sacralization of the author's struggle with form has great
consequences...permits Society to distant the work when it risks
becoming an embarressment, to neutralize the revolt of passion the
subversion of criticism (Barthes, Authors and Writers)
You firmly believe in religion.
What do you do with my fears, the anxieties that religion evidently
brought about ? Or do you simply dismiss this as Art and reject the
implicit criticism ?
And to the secular audience, what do you do with Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky ? Do you reject the criticism of
society, the breakdown in morality and see it merely as a story
wellwrittened, just a perfection of an art form ?
So is my story therefore reduce to a style of writing , as I was
away by metaphors
without caring for what they meant ?
Do you even know what I am talking about? Is there only one meaning in
this lexia ( which as a writer I should communicate only thought ) Is
there pure communication ?
OR can you find fissures and cracks in this lexia and find other
Then again you should understand. I am writing in the common form of
writing, pruned of all stylistic embellishments for the sake of
"clarity". I am using the form where thought is concentrated on (read
logic of my sentences and how I pattern them )
What is a "work"? What or who makes the work if there is no author?
Is this a work?
A cat pawing a keyboard could have done this. Is this a work?
No I hear the cry! You say that there should be a human author.
How about the fairy tales you lived with all your life ? Are they works
? But they have no
authors. Why did you not cry out then ?
IF there is an author should everything be included since we define
works by authors ?
I will be home late.
Is this an author's work ?
OR in my primary school notebook 10x3=30.
So if you think I am an author by virtue that "I" wrote that short
fiction, are the above my works?
So to understand my short story do you have to read this ?
Indeed, is there consistency in style in my