Critical theorists, such as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, both before and after the advent of hypertext have created or supported the notion of the "Death of the Author". Citing increased power to the reader as creative interpreter, differing notions of the author throughout the ages, and the relation of the concept of author to, in Foucault's words, "the legal and insitutional systems that circumscribe, determine, and articulate the realm of discourses. at all times, in any given culture..." ("What Is an Author?, 130), theorists have decided that the author cannot exist in any practical sense.

Yet I disagree with this notion. To obliterate the author in a wealth of codes and contexts would be to obliterate ourselves--for each of us, too--our speech and behavior patterns--is based on the cultural and familial context from which we have grown. The proliferation of notions of codes, of signs, of differing functions and relations which the author has served, calls for more active readers. Supposedly, we have been empowered to be such readers by hypertext. Well, then, let us use this empowerment not to ignore the creative and selective powers of the author, but to integrate the author along with the institution of literature into our understanding of that which we read.

Two factors underlying the rise of the concept of the "Death of the Author" are textual unity and increased reader power (or increased awareness of existing power).

If you'd rather read a more affirming note...

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