Except from: The Deaths of the Author: Reading and Writing in Time by Jane Gallop. Duke University Press, 2011.
I go back to Roland Barthes to see what he meant by the catch phrase and also to get a fuller sense of his theory of the author. In Barthes’ writing about authors, we find actually two deaths — the abstract, polemical death of the slogan and a moving, more bodily death of the mortal author. I attempt to connect the two deaths, to think the abstract theoretical death along with the real loss of the author. The title of my book, “The Deaths of the Author,” is meant to refer to both the literary theoretical concept and the real life drama, to make it impossible to think about either separately, to insist we think them together.