Before reading Lamarque’s work, I had read Foucault’s work “What is an author” in my department. Since scholar communication and collaboration (e.g. coauthorship, hyperauthorship, and subauthorship, etc.) is an important topic in the field of library and information science. After reading Lamarque’s work using Jeff’s approach, here are some ideas in my mind:
1. On p. 85, Lamarque mentioned two conceptions about the very nature of literature: the romantic conception which sees literature as a vehicle for personal expression and the “autonomy” conception which sees literature as pure linguistic artifact. This reminds me (again) of the conduit metaphor of language (whether meaning is embedded in words or meaning is injected into words by people? Whether language is as the tool/carrier of meaning (or, author’s intention?) or as meaning itself?). I think this is a long time debate for all text-based work (even nontexual works)?
2. Based on 1, I noticed Lamarque’s discussion and examples are mainly based on textual works (poets, literatures, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot). I was thinking if understanding authorship can be different in terms of non-texual works. For example, can the biographical approach be more important than others when dealing with painting? Especially considering the two directions(the works might be used to illuminate the lives, the lives to illuminate the works)? As for the following paintings by Christine Rosamond, audience may have a better understanding of the authorship if they know when “creating” these two paintings, the “author” got divorced and one of her good friends committed suicide. I am interested in this question because in the field of library science, it is the cataloger that needs to provide a description for all the works. This task can be very difficult if he/she knows nothing about authors’ lives (especially authors of non-textual collections).
3. Concerning “death of the author”, Foucault seems regards the author as a function of discourse itself: The function of an author is to characterize the existence, circulation and operation of certain discourses within a society. It seems that the author-function is sociohistorical, as a practice or group of practice. In this sense, is Lamarque’s intentionalism different in terms of its focus on the self-expression of individualism?
4.I’m also amazed by how many different approaches researchers can use to define author and authorship. For example, a major function of authorship in natural science is scientific rewarding, which can affect how we can define a author: Different from “multiple authorship”, hyperauthorship does not merely mean many more names listed in the byline, but indicates a wider scope and more miscellaneous ways of collaboration and involvement. Similarly, subauthorship can be regarded as a more subtle and complicated form of coauthorship: Their difference is not in the degree of visibility but in the level of intellectual inspiration. In all fields, “authors” are doing creative works, so it’s interesting to see how different an “author” can be defined and his/her works can be evaluated across different fields.