History Main / DeathOfTheAuthor

10th Apr '16 3:09:59 AM pvsage
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The logic is fairly simple: Books are meant to be read, not written, and so the ways readers interpret them are more important and "real" than the ways writers write them. There are also the more practical facts that a lot of authors are [[AuthorExistenceFailure not available]] or [[ShrugOfGod not willing]] to comment on their intentions, and even when they are, artists don't always make choices for reasons that make sense or are easily explained to others -- or, in some cases, even to themselves.

to:

The logic is fairly simple: Books are meant to be read, not written, and so the ways readers interpret them are more important and "real" than the ways writers write them. There are also the more practical facts that a lot of authors are [[AuthorExistenceFailure not available]] or [[ShrugOfGod not willing]] to comment on their intentions, and even when they are, artists don't always make choices for reasons that make sense or are easily explained to others -- or, in some cases, [[TheWalrusWasPaul even to themselves.
themselves]].
3rd Jan '16 2:34:48 PM FF32
Is there an issue? Send a Message


This theme also appears in Creator/JorgeLuisBorges' ''Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote'', an analysis of the work of an imaginary author. The text [[TheAllConcealingI is a literary essay written by an unnamed critic]] about Pierre Menard, a 20th Century writer whose life project was to write ''Don Quixote'', not as a copy or as a remake of the original work, but as a book which would coincide, word by word, with Cervantes ''Quixote''[[note]] (Menard explained in a letter to the critic that he had read Don Quixote when he was ten or twelve years old and later he only reread closely certain chapters, so his general recollection of the Quixote, simplified by forgetfulness and indifference, could equal the imprecise and prior image of a book not yet written. Then, he could write his own variations of Don Quixote that would be sacrificed to the one, “original” text)[[/note]]. The narrator compares both works under the light of the experiences of each author and, thus, an excerpt of Menard's gains an interpretation that is completely different from the interpretation of the exact same passage in Cervantes. This leads to absurd claims such as the identification of [[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzsche]]'s influence on the ''Quixote'', or that Cervantes in [[TheCavalierYears the 17th century]] clumsily opposes to the fictions of chivalry [[WriteWhatYouKnow the tawdry provincial reality of his country]] and [[BeigeProse easily handles the current Spanish of his time]], while Menard writing in the [[TheGreatDepression 20th century]] deserves praise for eluding the [[TheThemeParkVersion “spagnolades” (local color) of the]] [[TheCavalierYears seventeen century Spain]]: ([[UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} gypsies]], [[DashingHispanic conquistadors]], [[ReligionIsMagic mystics]], [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Philip the Seconds]] or [[ComeToGawk Autos]] [[ColdBloodedTorture de]] [[BurnTheWitch Fe]]), but he is obliged to write [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe in an archaic]] and [[PurpleProse affected style]]. The short story ends proposing that an exercise such as attributing ''The Imitation of Christ'' to James Joyce could impregnate the former with [[InTheOriginalKlingon new significance]]. As for the question of whether or not one should take this as sharp irony, it is a matter of the reader's willingness to attribute ''Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote'' [[MindScrew to Borges]].

Subverted by PabloPicasso who, when asked how to distinguish between his genuine works and the numerous fakes that were circulating, he answered simply, "If it's good, it's mine. If it's bad, it's a fake."[[note]]Makes you wonder since Picasso ''also'' said "Good artists copy, great artists steal."[[/note]]

to:

This theme also appears in Creator/JorgeLuisBorges' ''Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote'', an analysis of the work of an imaginary author. The text [[TheAllConcealingI is a literary essay written by an unnamed critic]] about Pierre Menard, a 20th Century writer whose life project was to write ''Don Quixote'', not as a copy or as a remake of the original work, but as a book which would coincide, word by word, with Cervantes ''Quixote''[[note]] (Menard explained in a letter to the critic that he had read Don Quixote when he was ten or twelve years old and later he only reread closely certain chapters, so his general recollection of the Quixote, simplified by forgetfulness and indifference, could equal the imprecise and prior image of a book not yet written. Then, he could write his own variations of Don Quixote that would be sacrificed to the one, “original” “original” text)[[/note]]. The narrator compares both works under the light of the experiences of each author and, thus, an excerpt of Menard's gains an interpretation that is completely different from the interpretation of the exact same passage in Cervantes. This leads to absurd claims such as the identification of [[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzsche]]'s influence on the ''Quixote'', or that Cervantes in [[TheCavalierYears the 17th century]] clumsily opposes to the fictions of chivalry [[WriteWhatYouKnow the tawdry provincial reality of his country]] and [[BeigeProse easily handles the current Spanish of his time]], while Menard writing in the [[TheGreatDepression 20th century]] deserves praise for eluding the [[TheThemeParkVersion “spagnolades” (local color) of the]] [[TheCavalierYears seventeen century Spain]]: ([[UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} gypsies]], [[DashingHispanic conquistadors]], [[ReligionIsMagic mystics]], [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Philip the Seconds]] or [[ComeToGawk Autos]] [[ColdBloodedTorture de]] [[BurnTheWitch Fe]]), but he is obliged to write [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe in an archaic]] and [[PurpleProse affected style]]. The short story ends proposing that an exercise such as attributing ''The Imitation of Christ'' to James Joyce could impregnate the former with [[InTheOriginalKlingon new significance]]. As for the question of whether or not one should take this as sharp irony, it is a matter of the reader's willingness to attribute ''Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote'' [[MindScrew to Borges]].

Subverted by PabloPicasso Creator/PabloPicasso who, when asked how to distinguish between his genuine works and the numerous fakes that were circulating, he answered simply, "If it's good, it's mine. If it's bad, it's a fake."[[note]]Makes you wonder since Picasso ''also'' said "Good artists copy, great artists steal."[[/note]]
5th Nov '15 7:30:23 AM DoctorNemesis
Is there an issue? Send a Message


It is important to note that, despite the title, Barthes never says that the author's own interpretation is completely '''un'''important; just that the author's interpretation is only one of many possible interpretations. This also does not necessarily mean that every interpretation is equally ''valid'' -- an interpretation that is based on a [[MisaimedFandom flawed, incomplete and misunderstood]] reading of the text is always going to be flawed, incomplete and misunderstood no matter how much this essay is raised in protest.

to:

It is important to note that, despite the title, Barthes never says that the author's own interpretation is completely '''un'''important; just that the author's interpretation is only one of many possible interpretations. This also does not necessarily mean that every interpretation is equally ''valid'' -- an interpretation that is based on a [[MisaimedFandom flawed, incomplete and misunderstood]] confused]] reading of the text is always going to be flawed, incomplete and misunderstood confused no matter how much this essay is raised in protest.
11th Sep '15 9:23:04 AM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message


'''Death of the Author''' is a concept from literary criticism which holds that an author's intentions and biographical facts (the author's politics, religion, etc) should hold no weight when coming to an interpretation of their writing; that is, that a writer's interpretation of his own work is no more valid than the interpretations of any of [[EpilepticTrees the readers]].

to:

'''Death Death of the Author''' Author is a concept from literary criticism which holds that an author's intentions and biographical facts (the author's politics, religion, etc) should hold no weight when coming to an interpretation of their writing; that is, that a writer's interpretation of his own work is no more valid than the interpretations of any of [[EpilepticTrees the readers]].
14th Aug '15 3:44:20 PM Specialist290
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Compare with {{Applicability}}. Somewhat related is WordOfDante. ''Not to be confused with AuthorExistenceFailure, a literal death of the author.''

to:

Compare with {{Applicability}}.{{Applicability}} and the FictionIdentityPostulate. Somewhat related is WordOfDante. ''Not to be confused with AuthorExistenceFailure, a literal death of the author.''
18th May '15 3:28:03 AM BaffleBlend
Is there an issue? Send a Message


'''It's important to note that this does ''not'' mean "there's no such thing as canon for a work's events", which is a common misinterpretation of this used to justify CanonDefilement. We're completely aware of the irony in telling you how not to interpret it, but putting it in practice this way is just generally a bad idea.'''

to:

'''It's important to note that this does ''not'' mean "there's no such thing as canon for a work's events", which is a common misinterpretation of this used to justify CanonDefilement. We're completely aware of the irony in telling you how not to interpret it, but putting it in practice this way is just [[SturgeonsLaw generally a bad idea.idea]].'''
18th May '15 2:08:23 AM PaulA
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Needless to say, many writers don't especially like this. Creator/MargaretAtwood famously remarked that if the Death of the Author theory became prevalent, then "we [writers] are all in trouble". However, while Creator/JRRTolkien acknowledged the influence of his experiences on his works (''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''), he denied that he had written allegory, insisting that his works simply had {{Applicability}}; this arguably makes him an early supporter of the Death of the Author, since [[FauxSymbolism pointless speculations]] about an author's allegorical ''intent'' are exactly what the concept seeks to avoid, in favor of analyzing the "applicability" of the text itself. It has been joked (with delicious {{irony}}) that Creator/RolandBarthes, who actually wrote the {{trope nam|ers}}ing essay, probably had to say "No, that's not what I meant at all!" at least ''once'' in his lifetime while discussing it. Playwright Alan Bennett claims he responded to students asking for assistance on analyzing his works as part of their A-Levels to "treat [him] like a dead author, who [is] thus unavailable for comment".

Of course, numerous authors including the likes of Creator/RayBradbury and WilliamGibson can't be bothered to [[FlipFlopOfGod stay consistent]] when talking about the major themes or concepts in their books for more than a few years at a time.

to:

Needless to say, many writers don't especially like this. Creator/MargaretAtwood famously remarked that if the Death of the Author theory became prevalent, then "we [writers] are all in trouble". However, while Creator/JRRTolkien acknowledged the influence of his experiences on his works (''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''), he denied that he had written allegory, insisting that his works simply had {{Applicability}}; this arguably makes him an early supporter of the Death of the Author, since [[FauxSymbolism pointless speculations]] about an author's allegorical ''intent'' are exactly what the concept seeks to avoid, in favor of analyzing the "applicability" of the text itself. It has been joked (with delicious {{irony}}) that Creator/RolandBarthes, who actually wrote the {{trope nam|ers}}ing essay, probably had to say "No, that's not what I meant at all!" at least ''once'' in his lifetime while discussing it. Playwright Alan Bennett Creator/AlanBennett claims he responded to students asking for assistance on analyzing his works as part of their A-Levels to "treat [him] like a dead author, who [is] thus unavailable for comment".

Of course, numerous authors including the likes of Creator/RayBradbury and WilliamGibson Creator/WilliamGibson can't be bothered to [[FlipFlopOfGod stay consistent]] when talking about the major themes or concepts in their books for more than a few years at a time.
25th Jan '15 3:46:27 AM CantNotLookAtThisSite
Is there an issue? Send a Message


'''Death of the Author''' is a concept from literary criticism which holds that an author's intentions and biographical facts (the author's politics, religion, etc) should hold no weight when coming to an interpretation of his or her writing; that is, that a writer's interpretation of his own work is no more valid than the interpretations of any of [[EpilepticTrees the readers]].

to:

'''Death of the Author''' is a concept from literary criticism which holds that an author's intentions and biographical facts (the author's politics, religion, etc) should hold no weight when coming to an interpretation of his or her their writing; that is, that a writer's interpretation of his own work is no more valid than the interpretations of any of [[EpilepticTrees the readers]].
11th Jan '15 6:13:48 PM DoctorNemesis
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Subverted by PabloPicasso who, when asked how to distinguish between his genuine works and the numerous fakes that were circulating, he answered simply, "If it's good, it's mine. If it's bad, it's a fake."[[note]]Makes you wonder since Picasso said "Good artists copy, great artists steal."[[/note]]

to:

Subverted by PabloPicasso who, when asked how to distinguish between his genuine works and the numerous fakes that were circulating, he answered simply, "If it's good, it's mine. If it's bad, it's a fake."[[note]]Makes you wonder since Picasso ''also'' said "Good artists copy, great artists steal."[[/note]]
6th Jan '15 11:31:02 PM MAI742
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

...is the birth of the reader.
This list shows the last 10 events of 121. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.DeathOfTheAuthor