In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews205 perhaps because there really isn't much to say about the somatic bases of translation, no matter how fundamental they may be. And while his rather brash, flippant style is refreshing at first, it doesn't wear well. Although he declares his commitment to the "dialogic," he often parodies his opponents' views at tiresome length—a practice he seems to justify in his discussion of "ironic translation" (pp. 167-75) and "subversion" (pp. 223—31). I wish he had limited his abstract theorizing and examined more concrete examples. Despite its manifest flaws, Robinson's book is original and stimulating, and I suspect it will remain a provocative landmark in its field for some time to come. University of OregonSteven Rendall Morte d'Author: An Autopsy, by H. L. Hix; xii & 254 pp. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990, $34.95. In this book H. L. Hix asks what an author is and, to answer the question, drops the assumption of authorial homogeneity. For Hix, rather than being just an origin of the text or just an effect of it, authorship partakes of both and constitutes a complex phenomenon resulting from the interdependence of writer, text, and reader. The first part oíMorte d'Author discusses major views ofauthorship and major debates provoked by the concept (Michel Foucault and Alexander Nehamas; Roland Barthes and William Gass; E. D. Hirsch,Jacques Derrida, William Cain, Robert Stecker). Hix finds that "each of the views considered mistakes one aspect of the author for the whole" (p. 11). In the second part, Hix examines the creative author—the author as origin/cause of the text—and isolates five factors in the making ofa work: ore (the raw materials—language used, tradition exploited, etc.—representing the conditions for the possibility of product creation ); arche (the inspiration for the product: God, say, or the Muses); archive (the "true work" which the arche provides and which the writer attempts to capture the essence ofin the product she makes); artisan (the writer); and artifact (the product itself). The creative mode—the story of how a work came to be— depends on the role attributed to the artisan in the process ofcreation (he may, for instance, be a mere recorder or transcriber or she may be endowed with special powers or abilities) and it is further affected by "displacement" (as in the reproduction of a work by a series of scribes) and "multiplication" (more than one artisan is involved; variant entities rather than a single one function as artifact). The third part of Hix's study considers the created author, the author as function/effect of the text. After showing that Wayne Booth's implied 206Philosophy and Literature author should be thought of as an inferred one and that there are different kinds of implied authors (for example, the singular proxy inferred from a single work and the synoptic proxy constructed on the basis ofan entire œuvre), Hix shows how the interaction of narrator, singular proxy, and synoptic proxy influences textual interpretation. Finally, in the fourth part of Morte d'Author, Hix argues that to abandon the assumption of authorial homogeneity does not imply that meaning has no locus and does not preclude aesthetic or moral judgments on texts or writers. Hix's study is admirably clear (analytical in the best sense of the word) and well informed—though he should have referred to the second edition of The Rhetoric of Fiction, which presents a more complex model of authorship than the first and, in particular, sketches a "career author" similar to the synoptic proxy. It draws on a wide variety of examples and proves wonderfully supple (synoptic proxies and singular ones, archives, artisans, and creative modes are not fixed entities but variables). On a few occasions, Hix's phrasing or argumentation are perhaps not sufficiendy precise or entirely convincing. He strongly suggests, for example, that Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida are humanists (p. 69); he considers Harold Bloom a deconstructionist (p. 220); and, in his interesting critique of Nehamas, he reaches conclusions that his own account of the philosopher's work does not quite warrant: thus, to say, like Nehamas, that writer and author are distinct does not entail that they...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 205-206
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.