"The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it." (Roland Barthes) Why should we not look to authorial intention for meaning in literature?
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Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a celebrated writer and theoretician, generally considered as one of the leading figures in French structuralism. In his landmark essay, 'The Death of the Author' (1968) he attacked the act of examining the author's intentions as a means of understanding the text more thoroughly, 'The image of literature to be found in ordinary culture is tyrannically centred on the author'.1 Barthes believed that to attain the 'ultimate meaning'2 , the biography and psychology of the author should be cast aside by the reader and the focus should instead be on the text, 'It i…
- "The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it." (Roland Barthes) Why should we not look to authorial intention for meaning in literature?
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