The author is a general question for literary theory and criticism. It is the question of the presence of another ‘I’, the haunting absent presence of the ‘I’ who writes. He is always a kind of ghost.
It is an undeniable truth that one of the curious effects of literature is that literary texts can generate powerful feelings of identification, not only between the reader and the character, but also between the reader and the author as well. The rapport that exists between us and our favourite author is a sort of linguistic tele-link. He is an absent presence, meaning he is both there and not there. He is sometimes not so much an actual author at all: rather it is our personal projection, our idea of the author which gives shape to him.
The question of authorial intention can also be pondered in the light of psycho analysis. Conscious intention can always be considered as subject to the unconscious workings of the mind. With psychoanalysis, it is no longer possible to privilege consciousness as the only judge of what is intended. The jurisdiction of ‘authorial intention’ falters here – for what is not meant can in another sense be meant. Rather than say the author is in control of the language that he/ she uses, we might consider the idea that the language is as much in control of the author. In this respect, language can be thought of as a kind of system within which any writer must take a designated place—the system and the rules of the language inevitably dictate the possibilities of what someone can say. The author is never equal to God.
Intentional Fallacy is a term introduced by W.K.Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley in the essay ‘Intentional Fallacy (1946), to describe the problem inherent in trying to judge a work of art by assuming the intention or purpose of the artist who created it. The approach was indeed a reaction to the popular...