On authorship - Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes

Death of the author



"Writing... is a voluntary obliteration of the self... the murderer of its author..." (Foucault, 117)

"... In short, it is precisely when the author's work become its own end that it regains a mediating character: the author conceives of literature as an end, the world restores it to him as a means...

Language is neither an instrument nor a vehicle: it is a structure, as we increasingly suspect; but the author is the only man, by definition, to lose his own structure and that of the world in the structure of language." (Barthes, 187)


Diary extract