The status of the Author in Digital Era (FRQSC)Edit article
Questions on the status of the author in digital era constitute a major social issue that concerns communities of writers and readers. Since authors are the authority, how can we rethink the process of validation and legitimization of literary contents published online today?
In 1993, Mark Rose analyzed the invention of the modern concept of the author, and demonstrated that the latter had no absolute or timeless value. Instead, he pointed out that this concept developed in the 18th century due to concrete needs, particularly economic ones, concerning the then-emerging paper edition. He concluded by saying that the "author" function (and in particular the copyright system) was still too important in our culture to be abandoned. But with the birth and the diffusion of the Web, new models of content production and circulation plead in favour for a reevaluation of the concept of the author. Controversies on the role of the author as producer of original content have multiplied. (We remember in 2010 the controversy triggered by the publication of The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq, where he had copied entire passages from Wikipedia). Collective production systems torpedo the notion of the author as a singular creative entity. (In Italy, a collective of writers has been publishing novels for fifteen years under the pseudonym Wu-Ming, "anonymous" in Chinese). Finally, the author as a persona is the subject of a playful mise en scène on the Web. (In Quebec, notably, we'll mention the case of Victoria Welby, Pharaon Parka, and Les Fourchettes, who expose themselves on social media).
It's crucial to analyze these new models in order to understand how new technologies affect the concept of the author.
See also: Projet Profil.