by Jürgen Pieters (Ghent University)
The Writing of Lives and the Fashioning of Selves:
Some Reflections on Dead Authors and Why They Keep Haunting Us
In my talk I want to revisit the untimely death of the author (Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault) and reflect upon the concept’s more recent return in such diverse reading methods as New Historicism and career criticism. I will take as my starting point the concept of ’self-fashioning’ and on the basis of the critical use that is being made of it try to point out some of the central paradoxes in the tradition of life-writing.