JANE's mission requires her to go undercover as a university student. We see her dressed in a sweater and blue jeans, knocking on the door of a lecturer's office. To the rest of the world, this man JANE is supposed to meet is Professor Wolf, a university professor specialising in political philosophy. Little do they realise that the name "PROF. WOLF", is also a codename for a deep-cover operative for THE AGENCY.
A voice from beyond the door says: Come in!
(JANE enters the office and closes the door behind her)
Good morning, Professor Wolf. I believe you have been expecting me for a long time.
(with a puzzled expression on his face)
I'm not sure...Miss...?
Jane, sir. Just call me Jane. Everyone calls me that... including the Chief at the recruitment agency I work in. (JANE gives PROF. WOLF a meaningful stare)
Ah yes. A simple name indeed. Makes is easier for me to remember. (smiles in understanding) And why are you here exactly, Jane? Do you have some questions for me?
Yes sir. I was just wondering really what exactly does an author do?
(smiles) Isn't that the question everyone seem to be asking. Are you familiar with the ideas of Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes, Jane? I will be answering your question by referring to their ideas.
I can't say that I am, Sir, but please do continue.
Alright. Here's the information you're asking from me, Jane. (hands her some pieces of paper) I believe this is what you came here for and all I have to give you.
(JANE thanks him as she leaves the office)
JANE sits down to read the papers she has received from PROF WOLF.
(after some time of reading those papers) It seems to me that Barthes seem to think that an author is more concerned with the writing process, that with the product, unlike writers. He said that an author's action "involves two kinds of norms: technical (of composition, genre, style) and artisanal (of patience, correctness, perfection)"
Does this mean that authors should always strive for perfection, accuracy and truth through their work? So he thinks authors should always strive to search for "truth" with their work?
Language is his instrument of action, a means, but it can also become and end, thus creating a paradoxical situation for the author. He uses language when he writes, in search of the "truth". The finished work then becomes an end for him in search of the truth. But then he realises, that his completed work becomes a source of further questions that he can use in search for a greater truth? Is this what Barthes means by "a perpetual inconclusiveness"?
(shuffles the papers, and pulls out a different sheet)
What about Foucault? In this text of his, he limits his discussion of the author function certain discourses, those with books or texts with authors. But he points out that "one can be the author of much more than a book - one can be the author of a theory, a tradition, or discipline in which other books and authors will in their turn find a place." This seems to be connected to the above idea by Barthes, doesn't it? The idea of a work by an author leading to further works that are used to discuss his ideas, and lead to research into other ideas by either that author himself, or other authors.
Oh! This is all so confusing!
(JANE hurriedly rearranges her papers as she makes her way back to THE AGENCY'S HQ)
MISSION BRIEFING | MISSION PROFILE