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Understanding Authorship: Reading Barthes and Foucault - Essay Example

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Understanding Authorship: Reading Barthes and Foucault

In this paper I will focus on Foucault’s reflections of authorship and will link his views to 21th century technological development giving example with Creative Commons licenses.
“The writing of our day has freed itself from the necessity of "expression"; it refers only to itself, yet is not restricted to the confines of interiority. On the contrary, we recognize it in its exterior deployment” (Foucault, 1977, p.124). Foucault’s point is that today it is easy to write, because society has been liberated from the need to “explain” itself. It seems for Foucault that everything has been said, written and commented and that the necessity to express oneself is not internally stimulated, but rather externally – we are required by society to deliver in a verbal way what we feel, believe, support or disagree with. Therefore, writing is transformed into an interaction of symbols, signs governed less by the content it indicates than by the nature of the writer (Foucault, 1977).
In “What is an Author” Foucault (1977) questions the modern process of writing and illustrates the value of reading. “The author – or what I have called the author-function – is undoubtedly only one of the possible specifications of the subject” (Foucault, 1977, p.138). The author here is described as author-fiction. We may say that this is a methodologically employed term to unite the writer with his literary creation. More particularly, Foucault (1977) outlines that in the future researches there should be a “typology of discourse” (p.137). Foucault (1977) notes that this typology can not be understood solely in regards to its formal structures, objects of narrative or grammatical features. There are logical properties that can not be reduced to the rules of grammar or other laws that rule language and objects.
The methodological point here is that various ...Show more


Has the growth of the Internet, blogging, Wiki’s and digital databases confirmed the ‘Death of the Author’ thesis or has it resurrected authorship in another form? Give precise examples.
There is a serious debate about…
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Understanding Authorship: Reading Barthes and Foucault essay example
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