Death of the Author

Scholars also established the idea of undermining the writers’ acknowledgment of their literal works. Barthes’ essay paper Death of the Author was historically based and invented this idea. The authors have argued that the author’s motivations should have little impact on their writing, if any, and should not be the basis for it. Authors, on the other hand, are highly involved in their works and offer encouragement to writers in order for them to achieve their full potential while writing their articles. Writers, as is customary, reference their works for potential predecessors (authors), but they contend that the author’s work should not be acknowledged. This paper aims at disapproving the notion that the works of the authors should not be considered when analyzing and understanding the writers’ papers.

The Analysis of the Argument

It is necessary to demonstrate reliable arguments to clearly elaborate my view of the argument. The first thing is to underline the necessity of the author. The latter uses various means to send his particular message to the intended readers. Sometimes, they take a lot of time to revise their own works to ensure that the message is correctly delivered to the audience. As Barthes (16) states, it is absurd and unfair to take their work for granted. According to Petrov (22), this is just a mere fallacy that does not imply any basis. Petrov vehemently refutes Barthes’s works and I totally agree with him. It is not possible to alienate the author and his work, because they are closely interrelated. While Barthes writings collection reflects opinion of modern writers, who state that there is no importance to affix the authors’ experience on their work.

Probably, the concept of Death of the Author has myriad of limitations. For instance, Barthes essay did not have comprehensive knowledge of the text and language, author used to bring out their literally work. On the other hand, Death of the Author argues the idea of connection between the language and text used in the literally work and the author. Hence, the author never dies but remains referenced by the writers, because they have to deliver the author’s message to the readers. In addition, Death of the Author extrapolates that the language speaks more than the author, so the role of the latter is insignificant. Foucault agrees and tries to argue that the current modern world has been transformed and the role of author has been dwindled. Therefore, the language is having the superior role when it comes to evaluating the quality and form of writing. Bathes asserts that in the process of exploring and analyzing literally work, the language should be valued while the speaking voice should not have influence. Thus, a writer should mention the author’s biographical facts. The argument provokes many questions, but works of Barthes seemed to take a declarative form (Davis 33).

The author plays more significant role than the writer. Equally, Barthes argues that “the author is the person who just writes and is nothing compared with who utters” (Barthes 23). While other scholars, such as Foucault and Jacques, backing up the Barthes essay, try to argue his position. The task of the writer is display the message from hard work of the author. Therefore, it is just a shallow understanding of the work of the author to disregard the author’s contribution. Instead the compelling and excellent work, depicted by various writers, they should pay credit to the work of the dead author. Conversely, Barthes essay advocates that the writers should not base their writing on the works of the author. He says that restrictions should be imposed on clearly condemn writers from attaching the author’s biographical details that include religion, education and politics (Watkin38). However, this notion seems to drive away the significance of the author as long as literally work is concerned. It will be fair to term Barthes essay as false because a writer needs to understand the reasoning of the author and then try to improve the work that has been performed before. Barthes opinion can be taken as negative and ill-motivated as it tends to discredit the work of authors. On the other hand, he might consider modernizing the literature work.

In addition to modernizing, the author might have an idea to highlight a particular event or show the future to the readers. Therefore, the author’s acknowledgment is required to underline that he wanted to deliver important message to the future. In this respect, Barthes’s essay may threaten the future of the upcoming writers. Therefore, the myth Death of the Author as described by Ungar, Steven, and Betty (49), needs to be overthrown and made clear. The works of the author should remain important to point out the significance of his works. If Barthes’s essay is rendered true, then why writers should undertake a research on the work of the authors, who have already dead? (Petrov 44).

Furthermore, according to Beardsley, Monroe, and Wimsatt (332-345), Barthesian style of criticizing the creative charisma is paradoxical. The reason for that paradox is that Barthes’s essay is driving to the point, where the writer has the ability to tailor the amazing work of original author’s works to suit their wrong ideas. Though Barthes is attempting to add a particular flavor to modernism of literally works, it is absolutely incorrect to put the efforts of authors in futile with a mere self-interest reason of saying that “since the writers are the ones who portrays a good presentation and eloquence of language while presenting the work to the readers should therefore claim everything to be of their work” (Barthes 26). From this scenario we cannot judge that the works of writers surpass the works of authors. Hence, it is hardly possible to oppose Death of the Author (Watkin 43).

However, Davis (51) seemed to have bolstered my argument against Barthes essay when he insists that history plays a vital role when one needs to understand the author’s function and language. From this, Davis affirms that origin is important, when it comes to conveyance of the meaning of the literally work to the readers. Inevitably, when Davis talks about origin, he means history, symbolizing passion and the entire society. Barthes disapproved it. This just proves that there is a strong relation between the author and the writer. Hence, the author still remains alive as opposed by Barthes.

Succinctly, Burke (55-79) goes ahead and develops a book Death and the Return of the Author, which can be perceived as a countermeasure of the works and conclusions of positions of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacque Derrida on authorship. The latter tend to have a common stand on Death of the Author. Burke rejected their works and said that there is no reason for the three authors to have spearheaded the claim that there is no author at the same time one is embracing the idea of receiving author’s privileges. The idea of categorizing the language and author as two different entities is ridiculous.

Additionally, Burke points out that the work of the trio has not considered significance of authors as completely inappropriate. Instead, they have given restrictions on the biographical facts according to Burke. It is a big mistake to have the perceptions that the author is absolutely powerful or completely absent. This means that we can’t completely remove the author from the literature works. Therefore, the argument against Death of the Author is well harnessed by the works of Barthes. Barthes’s essay tends to fall apart once it undergoes critical analysis and scrutiny of issues. Hence I concur with Burke conclusions that Barthes’s elimination of authorship is not justified (Bruner 38).Ungar, Steven, and Betty (44) declare that we need to criticize the claims of Barthes because they are logically pursued and have numerous loopholes. Thus, there is a necessity to determine the extent, to which the works of Barthes remain correct


Historical events should be referenced in order to show the facts that have happened to the wider audience. Therefore, it is not unavoidable to neglect the work done by the authors. From the analysis, we will not be liberated adequately if sanctions to be imposed on citing the biographical information of the authors. Authors gave us the origin, where we have come from. Though, the works of Roland have attempted to suffuse his work Death of the Author. From the analysis, it becomes clear that there are other authors, who tried to argue or defend the opinion of Barthes. It is evident also that the position of the authors remain inalienable in the society that is more likely to remember the history, therefore, author’s acknowledgements are strictly required.

Works Cited

Burke, Sean. “The death and return of the author: Criticism and subjectivity in Barthes, Foucault and Derrida.” (1998).

Barthes, Roland. The Death of the author. (1977)

Bruner, Jerome Seymour. Making stories: Law, literature, life. Harvard University Press, 2003

Beardsley, Monroe, and W. K. Wimsatt. “The intentional fallacy.” (1946): 332-45.

Davis, Kimberly Chabot. Postmodern texts and emotional audiences. Purdue University Press, 2007.

Moran, Joe. Star authors: Literary celebrity in America. Pluto Press, 2000.

Petrov, Petre M. Automatic for the Masses: The Death of the Author and the Birth of Socialist Realism. University of Toronto Press, 2015.

Ungar, Steven, and Betty R. McGraw. “Signs in Culture.” Roland Barthes Today, Iowa City (1989).

Watkin, Christopher. “Rewriting the death of the author: Rancièrian reflections.” Philosophy and Literature 39.1 (2015): 32-46.

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