- Jun 2016
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Critical theorists may question the "prestige of authorship," but there is little doubt that the material consequences are more far reaching than they were in ancient times.
Actually, this is a misreading of Foucault, who discusses the economic implications of authorship.
verningthis function is the belief that there must be - at a particular levelof an author's thought, of his conscious or unconscious desire — apoint where contradictions are resolved, where the incompatibleelements can be shown to relate to one another or to cohere arounda fundamental and originating contradiction. Fin
This is not true (in theory) of scientific authorship. We don't judge the coherence of the oeuvre.
Again it conflict with Fish's view of literary criticism
At the same time, however, 'literary' discourse was acceptableonly if it carried an author's name; every text of poetry or fictionwas obliged to state its author and the date, place and circumstanceof its writing. The meaning and value attributed to the text de-pended on this information. If by accident or design a text waspresented anonymously, every effort was made to locate its author.Literary anonymity was of interest only as a puzzle to be solved as,in our day, literary works are totally dominated by the sovereigntyof the author. (
At the same time scientific authorship was becoming anonymous, literary authorship was no longer accepted as anonymous (this is something Chartier disagrees with emphatically)
nsequently, we cansay that in our culture, the name of an author is a variable thataccompanies only certain texts to the exclusion of others: a privateletter may have a signatory, but it does not have an author; acontract can have an underwriter, but not an author; and, similarlyan anonymous poster attached to a wall may have a writer, buthe cannot be an author. In this sense, the function of an author isto characterize the existence, circulation, and operation of certaindiscourses within a society
Very useful statement of where foucault applies in this case: to literary discussion, not advertising, not letters, and so on.
Science would fall into the "not this" category, I suspect.
We can conclude that, unlike a proper name, which moves fromthe interior of a discourse to the real person outside who producedit, the name of the author remains at the contours of texts -separating one from the other, defining their form, and character-izing their mode of existence. It points to the existence of certaingroups of discourse and refers to the status of this discourse withina society and culture. The author's name is not a function of aman's civil status, nor is it fictional; it is situated in the breach,among the discontinuities, which gives rise to new groups of dis-course and their singular mode of existence. C
Again, an "Implied Author" type idea that is completely not relevant to science--although ironically, the H-index tries to make it relevant. In science, the author name is not the function that defines the text; it is the person to whom the credit it to be given rather than a definition of Oeuvre. This is really useful distinction for discussing what is different between the two discourses.
- literary authorship
- booth 1961
- scientific authorship
- fish 1988
- disciplinary difference
- literary criticism
- implied author
- foucault 1979
Who is speaking in this way? Is it the story's hero, concerned to ignore the castrato concealed beneath the woman? Is it the man Balzac, endowed by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman? Is it the author Balzac, professing certain "literary" ideas of femininity? Is it universal wisdom? or romantic psychology? It will always be impossible to know, for the good reason that all writing is itself this special voice, consisting of several indiscernible voices, and that literature is precisely the invention of this voice, to which we cannot assign a specific origin: literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes.
Why science authorship is not the same as poetic authorship: the lack of identity of the author. cf. Booth 1961, Rhetoric of Fiction