Jacques Derrida rarely addresses directly the question of the death of the author. One would expect that, with his attack on binary opposites, his claims of intertextuality and networks of texts, the author would not be seen as dead but merely yet another node in this linked docuverse. However, in one passage directly proceeding his noting of Novalis' concept of "The Book", he slips in, seemingly unexplained, a comment on the fate of the author:
"Literature" also indicates--practically--the beyond of everything: the "operation" is the inscription that transforms the whole into a part requiring completion or supplementation. This type of supplementarity opens the "literary game" in which, along with "literature," the figure of the author finally disappears. (56)
Curiously enough, Derrida really doesn't seem to turn to this issue again--perhaps considering it already well-covered by Barthes and Foucault--though he doesn't necessarily agree with all of their other claims. But even within this statement, a possible contradiction emerges. Given that "operation" involves "inscription", who does the inscribing? It seems that Derrida would have benefitted with some mention of the scribe, the winemaker who distills a bit of his wine for each bottle he sells--who breaks up the larger Whole into "cuts", the "coupe". For although a larger source exists, must it obliterate the identity of all who tap into it or are a part of it? May none of us as humans then have an identity?