I realize my latest blog entry didn’t entirely make sense or come together as a cohesive whole. Comparing Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” to this potential demise of the unique and individual in genre writing is perhaps a bit harsh. Two points on this matter to clarify.
1- The author isn’t dead. We should be looking at the author when we look at books. (How else are we going to begin to see trends and dynamic groups emerging and receding in the world?) But we need to be looking at what individual authors contribute to this dynamic whole. It is their ideas, the unique perspective they bring to these ideas, and the twists and turns they give us to take us on a comparable but entirely once-in-a-lifetime journey. If I have traveled the road before I want to take a different route to the destination so my eyes may be opened more fully to the world around me.
2- The author isn’t dead. And Roland Barthes was really coming at this from a different perspective. He was criticizing critics whose antagonists then took Barthes’ ideas and created entirely new ideologies from them. Barthes’ ideas really shouldn’t be applied to this topic, but it seemed a logical connection at the time.