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Lecture notes for Fate of the Artist

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University of Toronto St. George
Andrew Lesk

ENG235: The Fate of the Artist Roland Barthes, The Death of the Author (1967) The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture. (most significant) Death of the author is the birth of the reader Text is a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writing, none of them original, blend and clash. o Drawing on different cultures o Things we experience are not original at all o Idea of the original no longer exists Way to interpret text does not only lie within the author If our lives are texts and if we know that there are no originals what do our lives draw upon? o Things that come before us; pieces of cultures that precede us and thus nourish us? o Does this mean we are fragmented as well? The cultural montage which characterizes Western culture It is always in flux the only sure thing we can know is change and what is temporary Intertexuality Our lives are intertexts Arthur Danto For the last 150 years, western art has become more an object lesson in self-discovery than a medium of aesthetic representation Idea of What is beauty? shifts to What is art? o Shift to individualism o Questioning what is beauty Warhol o Art is anything you say is art Artist loses authority through constant fragmentation over generations Celebrity o Self-awareness of your actions The Fate of the Artist
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