Re: Authors

>I don't think Foucault was particularly bold or original in writing something
>that problematizes the notion of "author". You, Colin, keep saying that
>Foucault says "there is no author". Could you point me to the the place
>where he says that? My impression is that, instead, he asks, and tries to
>elaborate upon, a question; and he even lays it all out in the title.

I can't. That's my point. But this arises because I playing on the ambiguity
that arises when i use the term Foucault. What am i referring to here?
Foucault as in how I interpret him in his works? Foucault as you interpret
his works? Foucault the author who attempted to convey a message in his
work? Or, the Foucault that emerges as a product of the Foucault industry
and which seems to "Bear" no relation to the Foucault I read? Now, in that
body of work I could find you as much textual evidence you might require to
substantiate a claim that Foucault said that "there is no author". But as
you point out, Foucault did not say this. I agree. But this distinction only
gets its force if we agree that Foucault did indeed say something. Now
certainly, we can disagree sustantially on how to interpret what he said but
what we can't disagree about, and still remain consistent, is that on page 3
of Discipline and Punish Foucault says 'On 2 March 1757'. (at least on the
version i've got)

By the way, the Foucault industry does a similarly good job of reducing
Foucault's rich account of subjectivity to mantra's such as 'The subject is
dead'. Urrgh! Lets hope not eh, else we will end up resembling 'Lockean
tabula rasa's in a Foucaultian overcoat.'


Colin Wight
Department of International Politics
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
SY23 3DA


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