Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
File Format: Pdf
Authorship’s Wake by , Summary
Authorship's Wake examines the aftermath of the 1960s critique of the author, epitomized by Roland Barthes's essay, “The Death of the Author.” This critique has given rise to a body of writing that confounds generic distinctions separating the literary and the theoretical. Its archive consists of texts by writers who either directly participated in this critique, as Barthes did, or whose intellectual formation took place in its immediate aftermath. These writers include some who are known primarily as theorists (Judith Butler), others known primarily as novelists (Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace), and yet others whose texts are difficult to categorize (the autofiction of Chris Kraus, Sheila Heti, and Ben Lerner; the autotheory of Maggie Nelson). These writers share not only a central motivating question – how to move beyond the critique of the author-subject – but also a way of answering it: by writing texts that merge theoretical concerns with literary discourse. Authorship's Wake traces the responses their work offers in relation to four themes: communication, intention, agency, and labor.