site of the other > 16/03/05

When Barthes proclaimed the death of the author back in the 60s, it was not the writer he meant but the author as organizing principle of a body of work. Not much has changed up till today. It is still the author as authority and origin around which we talk about the work of a writer.

A web site, though, challenges this construct. It is here not the writer who is on central stage, but the site and the very interface. The web site becomes the organizing principle that undercuts every claim to authority and origin, and the works themselves are located / written at the site of the Other rather than (the intentional ego of) the writer. Can we ever talk about authority, intent, origin, when talking about the web? Could we ever? Isn’t it all a myth, as Barthes claimed long ago, and a myth we have outlived today?

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