Foucault speaks of the death of an author, "a victim of his own writing" (140): Our present culture has transformed writing into a means to obliterate the writer. The idea that an author is killed by his writing stems from the loss in the former's "individual characteristics" (140) in his text; in a sense said to have lost "his own structure ...in the structure of language" (Authors and Writers, 187). The viewing of language as a structure arises from Barthe's notion of an author who uses language both as a raw material and the product of his work.
Structuralist such as Foucault and Barthes believes that an author can never expressed himself exactly what he means when he uses words as the instruments of expression. That is because structuralists see words as being ambiguous and that words create meanings on their own. They are "structures that operate unconsciously" (Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, 120).