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Saturday

I am the walrus


Sometimes the author is the text -- but in the opinion of the reader, the existence of the author is probably not helpful.

If it were clear what Heidegger meant by Being, we wouldn't have hundreds of articles and books disagreeing with each other about it. As we do have multiple, and differing, interpretations, it should be clear that we do not, in fact, know what he 'meant', nor have we agreed on how we could find out.

The author is 'in' the text only insofar as we try to read him 'out' of it. This is not to say that a knowledge of an author's life cannot illumine a text, but at the very same time that illumination forecloses the text, cuts off possible meanings which lie inherent in (or, implicit in) the structure of language, images, ideas in the text, and critics have been quite free to decide when an author's life 'matters' and when it doesn't. One of the strikes against autobiographies and biographies as guides to an author's thought and meanings is that they themselves are writing, conforming to certain conventions, constructing a plot-line from the intricate and intermingled complexities of an inner and outer life...