Filial Tradition

Let's return to Barthes. Barthes says that the work "is caught up in a process of filiation. Three things are postulated here: a determination of the work by the outside world (by race, then by history) a consecution of works among themselves, and an allocation of the work to its author. The author is regarded as the father and the owner of his work; literary research therefore learns to respect the manuscript and the author's declared intentions, while society posits the legal nature of the author's relationship with his work" (4).

The decline of the author function in the latter half of the twentieth century, we might say, coincided with the rise of the text. For Barthes writes "The Text…is read without the father's signature" (4). The authenticity of an object can no longer be determined based upon the author's signature within the work. Without the legitimation of the author/father, the original is devalued and the reproduction, the copy takes precedence.

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