Authorship in Literary Fiction and Theory
Gero Guttzeit – Authorship in Literary Fiction and Theory: Writing on Writers
The author has suffered a peculiar fate over the course of twentieth-century literary studies: After the nineteenth century had dealt with literature primarily in terms of the biographies of canonized writers, movements such as the American New Criticism focused solely on the literary text; the late 1960s and the 1970s next brought literary studies to focus on the reader, with poststructuralists even bluntly declaring the “death of the author”. Yet, bridging the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we have seen a return of and to the author (e.g. Burke, The Death and Return of the Author, 2008; Jannidis et al., Rückkehr des Autors, 1999), who seems to have been present all along in our every-day dealings with texts.
This lecture aims to provide students with an historical overview of and a theoretical framework for the analysis of fictional and theoretical writing on writers. It will enquire into the role of the author when it comes to the production and reception of literature as well as examine the presentation of the good and bad times of being an author within literary texts, using examples from nineteenth century and contemporary literature.
Gero Guttzeit is a doctoral candidate at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture at the University of Giessen and a part-time research assistant for the English faculty, while also holding a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. He is also a member of the International PhD Programme “Literary and Cultural Studies”. He holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh and an MA from the University of Giessen, and his main research interests lie in the theory and history of rhetoric, authorship, and Edgar Allan Poe.