The Echo in the Wilderness: The Destruction of the Author One of the most controversial and consistently debated elements in literature is the presence of the author. More specifically, literary critics have come to analyze the characteristics of the author in both fictional and non-fictional works, the effects that his supposed existence brings to the interpretation and understanding of the written work and his overall purpose and function in the text. The average reader, while reading texts such as a novel or a newspaper would most likely presume that the author serves the most basic function of relaying information to the reader such as the topic of discussion or the setting and characters (if any) involved in the text. Furthermore, others would consider, if for example a literary work were being examined, that the author may attempt go as far as to convey a specific message or universal overarching truth to the reader that is either hidden or plainly stated. These initial observations and assertions regarding the author-text and author-reader relationship are too simplistic however, and only serve to further question the true value and necessity of the author’s presence in any written work. Through the comparison and analysis of literary scholars Roland Barthes and his essay “The Death of the Author” as well as Michel Foucault’s “What is an Author” the role of the author will be examined. More specifically the study of the origins and traditional understanding of the author, an exploration of the element of writing in relation to the author-text relationship and the effects of the existence and absence of the author in the text, the two essays have come to the conclusion that the presence and influence of the author, although traditionally thought of as crucial to the text, is no longer effective and hence insignificant in modern literary theory. The traditional characteristics and effects of the author is one that is deeply rooted in society and culture and whose evolution is likewise heavily influenced and dependent on history. Barthes agrees with this concept when he states that the death of the author, although occurring through the act of narrating text, differs widely in the character that delivers it (Barthes, 186). He emphasizes the role of culture and societies on the person of the author through an ethnographic perspective, implying that certain societies may rely on a “mediator, shaman or relator” to depict the text (Barthes, 186). Society is responsible for developing and shaping the concept of the author which has remained a transformative and malleable figure throughout history, “emerging from the Middle Ages and English empiricism, French rationalism and personal faith” ( Barthes, 186). Barthes is implying that it is not only the physical persona of the author that is influenced by different ethnographic societies but also his theories, concepts, and ideologies that were prevalent in history, and to which, the specific areas and cultures from where they originated are attached ( the concept of “English” empiricism, and “French” rationalism). In this way, the physical author, the person constructing the text was “tyrannically centred” in literature and remained a dominant figure in history (Barthes, 186). Therefore, any criticism or praise pertaining to the text would automatically be associated and compared with the character of the writer himself. In this way, the author is seen to supersede his text. Foucault takes a similar stance regarding the traditional understanding of the author. Although the gist of the essay does not discuss the “sociohistorical analysis” of the author’s character (which is largely influenced by culture and history he was exposed to) it is has helped shape the traditional view of the author that centres on the writer rather than the text itself (Foucault, 281). On a similar level, Foucault expands on the persona of the traditional author when describing the third…
Creative Destruction: A Dog Eat Dog World
Analysis of Business Issues
What is creative destruction? Before we can tackle that question, we must look at historical patterns that successful companies have endured. In a span of seventy years from 1917-1987, the Forbe’s list of 100 largest companies has dwindled to 39. With that knowledge in hand, we can proceed to answer what creative destruction clearly is. A textbook definition of creative destruction will attempt to portray the phenomenon…
Great Authors Relate
Great Britain has been inhabited since historians believe since around 3000B.C. by the Celts. After thousands of years of inhabitants the novel was created in the 1600’s. In the hundreds years since its creation there have only been a handful that would be considered great novelist. One of these great novelists is Barbara Pym a British author. Barbara Pym uses her life experiences to influence her novels and character interactions. Her use of these experiences makes her novels…
What is Wilderness?
Prompt: What is the meaning of the word “wilderness”, and how is it different from “nature”?
Wilderness is the unkept and untouchable aspect of nature. It is not tainted by human hands, nor is it restrained or confined. It is the most natural and healthy kind of land because it is thriving and existing outside of human influence.
Nature is all-encompassing; it has a cause and it operates for a purpose. Natural things have the ability to move or stand still according to their…
Travel writing within the mid nineteenth century was one of the most useful forms of ‘geographical knowledge’ and primary agents of British imperialism. This was due to narrative accounts being embedded with the ideologies of the subsequent western authors and explorers who constructed them (Pratt, 1992; Youngs, 2006). Driver (2000:27) furthermore adds that the “culture of exploration was heterogeneous”, with various situated knowledges produced from the practice as a result. This is because, whilst…
ENG 1201 HN1
2 May 2014
Recommended Dose of Destruction
Everywhere you turn now there are signs and people pushing you toward an influenza vaccine. It seems that this particular vaccine has become a huge part of our media every year at the start of “flu season.” Most people give into this scare tactic media and go get this vaccine strictly off the recommendations with no questions asked. Now not only is it being highly recommended for the general public, but mandated…
Professor Amanda Melchor
09 October 2013
Destruction of the Human Mind
Everyday technology is advancing and creating new methods that enhance society. Nicholas Carr, an American author publishes several books and articles primarily about technology, economics, and culture. In 2008, The Atlantic published one of Carr’s articles Is Google Making Us Stupid which provides insight to the internet and its critical effect on cognition. Like the title of his article…
Echo of Jihad from Paktia’s Paternal Mountains
Rajab 18, 1431 A.H, Thursday, July 01, 2010
Paktia province is located in southeast Afghanistan and shares borders with the provinces of Logar, Ghazny, Paktika and Khost. Paktia is a province and mountainous and rugged terrain with the exception of its capital Gardiz and the Zarmut and Said Karam directorates. Forests of oak and pine cover most of its mountains, and it therefore represents one of the best spots in Afghanistan in terms of natural beauty…
New World Destruction of Canada’s Wildlife
History 1114: Stand Up and Be Counted (Environmentalism)
Professor Thor Frohn-Nielsen
March 18, 2014
The period of European exploration and Aboriginal-European contact opened a process of enormous environmental and cultural change in Canada. Fish, furs and forest products were major extraction industries that took advantage of the environment on the North American continent. Wilderness remained the obstacle…
Jackson’s primary involvement with the Second Bank of the United States arose during the suggested governmental re-chartering of the institution. It was during this period that the necessity and value of the Bank’s services were questioned. Jackson’s destruction of the bank was necessary because it was unconstitutional. Congress didn’t have the right to create such a bank. The Bank favored Northeastern states over southern and western states. I will go in depth to his core beliefs of why he hated banks…
Informative Speech Outline: Wilderness Survival
A. If you were stranded in the wilderness of Alaska, would you be a survivor or a unprepared victim?
B. This topic is important to myself and you, because improving knowledge on surviving simple encounters such as a car breaking down in the largest state in the U.S with over half a million miles of wilderness is extremely vital.
C. I'm going to briefly talk about preparing yourself, procedures and steps from experienced writers,…