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Sovereignty of the Dead: Authors, Editors, and the Aesthetic Text

Sovereignty of the Dead: Authors, Editors, and the Aesthetic Text JeffRey R. Di leo Sovereignty of the Dead Authors,Editors,andtheAestheticText Forty-four years ago a box carried within it a message concerning the death of the author. It also carried within it other works which demonstrate what art after the author looks like. One would have hoped that by this time the death of the author would have become part of the modus operandi of the arts of the present. Such though does not appear to be the case. Not only are some critics, like Jane Gallop and Sean Burke, challenging the notion that the author was ever dead--even for those who coined the "familiar" poststructuralist "slogan" (Gallop 1)1--but contemporary critical, textual, and editorial practices seem more attuned to asserting the aesthetic sovereignty of dead authors than allowing "texts" or "writing" to speak on their own behalf. For me, critical and editorial acts that allow the "author" to impede the free circulation of texts and determine textual practices bind us to an aesthetic and critical past we allegedly were supposed to have overcome. Editors and critics today need to strive for textual practices that move beyond the reliance on "authors" and "authorship"--and instead learn to revel in the collaborative textual http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Sovereignty of the Dead: Authors, Editors, and the Aesthetic Text

The Comparatist , Volume 36 (1) – May 19, 2012

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

JeffRey R. Di leo Sovereignty of the Dead Authors,Editors,andtheAestheticText Forty-four years ago a box carried within it a message concerning the death of the author. It also carried within it other works which demonstrate what art after the author looks like. One would have hoped that by this time the death of the author would have become part of the modus operandi of the arts of the present. Such though does not appear to be the case. Not only are some critics, like Jane Gallop and Sean Burke, challenging the notion that the author was ever dead--even for those who coined the "familiar" poststructuralist "slogan" (Gallop 1)1--but contemporary critical, textual, and editorial practices seem more attuned to asserting the aesthetic sovereignty of dead authors than allowing "texts" or "writing" to speak on their own behalf. For me, critical and editorial acts that allow the "author" to impede the free circulation of texts and determine textual practices bind us to an aesthetic and critical past we allegedly were supposed to have overcome. Editors and critics today need to strive for textual practices that move beyond the reliance on "authors" and "authorship"--and instead learn to revel in the collaborative textual

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 19, 2012

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