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‘The Author Is Dead, But: A Lacanian Response to Barthes’s Return-to-the-Author Paradox’

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Some six years after the publication his much celebrated essay, ‘The Death of the Author’, Roland Barthes returned to issue of literary authoriality in The Pleasure of the Text, writing that ‘lost in the midst of a text... there is always the other, the author.’ Given how well-received and widely used the erotic discourse accompanying Barthes’s desirous return to the author has been, it is surprising how few commentaries have taken exception with, or attempted to explain, the paradox that sees the author brought back from the dead without annulling the death itself. This essay builds on Jane Gallop’s views concerning fetishism to explain Barthes’s return to the author as an example of what Jacques Lacan has identified as jouissance after the letter - that is, the appearance of the real in the order of the symbolic. It is by equating the author with the psychoanalytic mother found in Lacan’s work, a rendering that stands in direct opposition to the oppressive, patriarchal portrait presented by Barthes, that a new understanding of the meaning and subsequent implications of the death of the author reveals itself.

  • Some six years after the publication his much celebrated essay, ‘The Death of the Author’, Roland Barthes returned to issue of literary authoriality in The Pleasure of the Text, writing that ‘lost in the midst of a text... there is always the other, the author.’ Given how well-received and widely used the erotic discourse accompanying Barthes’s desirous return to the author has been, it is surprising how few commentaries have taken exception with, or attempted to explain, the paradox that sees the author brought back from the dead without annulling the death itself. This essay builds on Jane Gallop’s views concerning fetishism to explain Barthes’s return to the author as an example of what Jacques Lacan has identified as jouissance after the letter - that is, the appearance of the real in the order of the symbolic. It is by equating the author with the psychoanalytic mother found in Lacan’s work, a rendering that stands in direct opposition to the oppressive, patriarchal portrait presented by Barthes, that a new understanding of the meaning and subsequent implications of the death of the author reveals itself.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Johnson, L. M. "‘The Author Is Dead, But: A Lacanian Response to Barthes’s Return-to-the-Author Paradox’." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 58 .1 (2016): 1-19.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2743

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 19

Volume


  • 58

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Austin, Texas

Abstract


  • Some six years after the publication his much celebrated essay, ‘The Death of the Author’, Roland Barthes returned to issue of literary authoriality in The Pleasure of the Text, writing that ‘lost in the midst of a text... there is always the other, the author.’ Given how well-received and widely used the erotic discourse accompanying Barthes’s desirous return to the author has been, it is surprising how few commentaries have taken exception with, or attempted to explain, the paradox that sees the author brought back from the dead without annulling the death itself. This essay builds on Jane Gallop’s views concerning fetishism to explain Barthes’s return to the author as an example of what Jacques Lacan has identified as jouissance after the letter - that is, the appearance of the real in the order of the symbolic. It is by equating the author with the psychoanalytic mother found in Lacan’s work, a rendering that stands in direct opposition to the oppressive, patriarchal portrait presented by Barthes, that a new understanding of the meaning and subsequent implications of the death of the author reveals itself.

  • Some six years after the publication his much celebrated essay, ‘The Death of the Author’, Roland Barthes returned to issue of literary authoriality in The Pleasure of the Text, writing that ‘lost in the midst of a text... there is always the other, the author.’ Given how well-received and widely used the erotic discourse accompanying Barthes’s desirous return to the author has been, it is surprising how few commentaries have taken exception with, or attempted to explain, the paradox that sees the author brought back from the dead without annulling the death itself. This essay builds on Jane Gallop’s views concerning fetishism to explain Barthes’s return to the author as an example of what Jacques Lacan has identified as jouissance after the letter - that is, the appearance of the real in the order of the symbolic. It is by equating the author with the psychoanalytic mother found in Lacan’s work, a rendering that stands in direct opposition to the oppressive, patriarchal portrait presented by Barthes, that a new understanding of the meaning and subsequent implications of the death of the author reveals itself.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Johnson, L. M. "‘The Author Is Dead, But: A Lacanian Response to Barthes’s Return-to-the-Author Paradox’." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 58 .1 (2016): 1-19.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2743

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 19

Volume


  • 58

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Austin, Texas