06 October 2008

Issue 1, Take 2

When I wrote about Issue 1 yesterday, I noted it with amusement, but didn't give it much thought, because even as a piece of conceptual art it didn't really seem to me to be doing much that was particularly new in an interesting way. Steve Shaviro thinks that may be one way to find meaning in it:
...given all the questions about the status of the author that have been raised in the last half-century or so, it only makes sense that I should be credited with the authorship of something that I had nothing to do with writing. Remember, Roland Barthes proclaimed “the death of the author” more than forty years ago, in 1967. And even well before that, in 1940, Borges proposed a literary criticism that would “take two dissimilar works — the Tao Te Ching and the 1001 Nights, for instance — attribute them to a single author, and then in all good conscience determine the psychology of that most interesting homme de lettres…” (from “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”). Issue 1 is a logical outgrowth of the situation in which such ideas no longer seem new, or radical, or outrageously counterintuitive, but have instead been entirely assimilated into our “common sense.”
The entire post is very much worth reading.