Art History Unstuffed. Michel Foucault: “What is an Author?”

 WHAT IS AN AUTHOR?

Part Four of a Five Part Series on Michel Foucault, Michel Foucault: “What is an Author?” was posted on January 24, 2014. This short essay was very influential in rethinking the notion of “author” as a bounded entity who produced a unified body of work. This series can also be accessed through with Heathwood Press, an English journal of philosophy, where Dr. Willette is a contributing writer.

Foucault pointed to exceptions to his assertion that the author is an ideological construct and made note of  transdiscursive writers, such as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud and Ann Radcliffe, all of whom established paradigms or what Foucault called “discursive instaurations.” These are rare figures in the field of writing who created a genre that spawned writing in their particular area.

 Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

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