The Implied Author. A question of ethics.

My nuclear family moved away from Mumbai city when I was really little to another city so my companions from a very early age was television and books. Never once did I stop to think about what it meant that someone was writing and producing these things for me to write; who this person was; what became of him before and after i read/watched a work.

The act of writing “is a question of creating a space into which the writing subject constantly disappears”. This space, like a nebulous black hole, sucks everything that existed before the act of reading into it. The author may cease to exist as living entity but transcends mortality and is ingrained within the text. But this transcendence is not enough to fill the enormous void left behind. The implied author absorbs everybody involved in the production, editor, muse (every creative source has a muse), deleted paragraphs that appear in the form of re-written and re-worked passages, and the history and socio-economic conditions to ensure “the aesthetic principle of the work’s survival.” I relish this idea.

I believe that it is for this reason that we are forced to create an implied author and are faced with problems by the using author’s proper name to refer to work. Because by evoking the author’s real-world entity we attribute the entire process to just one person. What about the muse? (Has anyone seen Stranger than fiction?) What about Queen Latifa? Do they not have as much to do with the work as it’s creator? From this article it seems to me that the creation of the implied author apart from being embedded in theory also arises from ethics. The utterer’s meaning is apparent in the text but only in the form of the words within the closed book. Like the idea of Schrodinger’s cat, the act of looking changes the outcome of the experiment. Once we open the book the utterer’s meaning is obscured through interpretation (the experimentation or the act of reading/looking).

The author’s work is his own and no one can change that. If I were to quote a passage from a book i have to include details of the physical object (the book) the editor, the publication house, etc. So theory has created a space for us to pay homage to all the forces that interact during the creation of a piece of work.

XoXo Waylon


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