Time is running out. When the last grain of sand drops in, you will need to give your answer. You do not know whether you know the answer. Subconsciously you may know, but you are not sure. You know that the measure of time here is dependent on various factors. The size of the grains of sand, the shape of the hourglass, the diameter of the neck of the hourglass and the pull of gravity. It is a good measure of time but not the best available.
When we are looking at authorship, we ponder how much we need to know about the author. Determinants such as his background, his experience, his culture gives a good measure of the authorship but they may be insufficient. Do we also need to look at his grocery list or scribbling? Are they necessary?
These questions arise from our attempt to find out what is considered to be a work of the author. Michel Foucault questions whether a work must be written by a person called an author before it can be recognised as a piece of work. If an individual is not an author, what are we to make of those things that he has said or written?