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"It does not refer, purely and simply, to an actual individual insofar as it simultaneously gives rise to a variety of egos and to the series of subjective positions that individuals of any class may come to occupy" (What is an author? 145).
In a text, there are said to be "signs that refer to the author" (144), such as the personal pronoun "I". However this "I" might not refer to the real author but a fictional constructs, a narrator, created by the real author to deliver the contents of the discourse by an actual writer. And Foucault sees the author-function arises "in the division and distance [between the fictional narrator and the actual writer]" (144) and it traverses all discourse that are "characterized by a plurality of egos" (144).