Death and Decentering

"[T]he death of the author 'liberates what may be called an anti-theological activity, an activity that is truly revolutionary since to refuse to fix meaning is, in the end, refuse God and his hypostases--reason, science, law'" (The Death and Return of the Author, 23)

Foucault is drawing an analogy between the death of an author and the death of God in an ideological sense. He is dismissing the author as the Derridean "center" of a text that has its fuction in orienting, balancing and organizing the structure.(Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences, 83). Instead of being in control of their texts, the authors have become functions or products of their very own writings. Likewise, with the introduction of rationalism of the Enlightenment, it has superceded God as the center of all meanings, causes and effects. In this same manner, God and an author shared a common fate where they are ousted out of their position as a prime mover and the arbiter of meanings. Hence, we see Foucault as using the word death as a metaphor for the decentering of both God and the author.

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