Authorship's Wake examines the aftermath of the 1960s critique of the author, epitomized by Roland Barthes's essay, "The Death of the Author." This critique has given rise to a body of writing that confounds generic distinctions separating the literary and the theoretical. Its archive consists of texts by writers who either directly participated in this critique, as Barthes did, or whose intellectual formation took place in its immediate aftermath. These writers include some who are known primarily as theorists (Judith Butler), others known primarily as novelists (Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace), and yet others whose texts are difficult to categorize (the autofiction of Chris Kraus, Sheila Heti, and Ben Lerner; the autotheory of Maggie Nelson). These writers share not only a central motivating question - how to move beyond the critique of the author-subject - but also a way of answering it: by writing texts that merge theoretical concerns with literary discourse. Authorship's Wake traces the responses their work offers in relation to four themes: communication, intention, agency, and labor.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 467 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
Authorship's Wake animates a new path for exploring the enduring legacy of the "authorship debates." This lively and original book not only brilliantly elucidates the political stakes of proclaiming the "death of the author," but also uses these insights to form novel and compelling arguments regarding a range of contemporary phenomena from campus speech debates to man-splaining. What the sole author leaves in his wake, we come to learn, are nothing less than the seeds for cultivating vital new practices of affect, agency, and collectivity. * Jennifer Friedlander, Edgar E. and Elizabeth S. Pankey Professor of Media Studies, Pomona College, USA *
Inventive. Inspiring. Important. A passionate defense of the emancipatory post-war writing daring to stretch beyond authorship and the fiction/theory binary; a celebration, in the wake of Roland Barthes, of the wildly critical visions of such writers as Teju Cole, Chris Kraus, Maggie Nelson, Zadie Smith, and David Foster Wallace; and an invitation to form a new kind of study group with them all as we take on this startlingly strange and yet terrifyingly familiar 21st century. * Alice Jardine, Professor, Harvard University, USA, and author of At the Risk of Thinking: An Intellectual Biography of Julia Kristeva (Bloomsbury, 2020) *