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Understanding Death of the Author

"The Death of the Author" is the title of an essay literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes.

The term itself has been argued to mean that the work should be judged wholly on its own merits despite problematic origins. But, was that the intent of the framework or is it a post hoc justification for supporting creators (and thus their creations) who would otherwise be maligned?

With regards to fandom, how much can be said to be justified under this framework and as consumers should there be a limit to where and how this framework is used as a defense?

  • I recently studied this essay in my class on Contemporary – thalamouawad 1 year ago
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  • I recently studied this essay in my class on Contemporary Writing by Women. I think that Barthes' essay can be juxtaposed effectively with Nancy K Miller's "Changing the subject". It counters Barthes' work by stating that this dismissal of individual identity can be interpreted as a hegemonic tool used to deemphasize the stance of minority writing. – thalamouawad 1 year ago
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  • Another point for reference: novelist John Green has publicly subscribed to the Death of the Author philosophy, saying "authorial intent doesn't matter"; how readers interpret metaphors, he says, is as important or more important than what the author was thinking when he wrote them. This makes reading Green's books, like Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars, which are stuffed full of metaphorical imagery, quite interesting. Paper Towns, in particular, is about imagining people as multifaceted instead of seeing them as metaphors - but if authorial intent doesn't matter, should we accept our superficial impressions as accurate? – noahspud 11 months ago
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