Nobel laureate of 1998 José Saramago, in his essay "Is It Time to Return to the Author? Between Omniscient Narrator and Interior Monologue" (trans. from the Portuguese and French by Roumiana Deltcheva), presents a short yet passionate treatise in defense of the "author" both as an individual and as a writer. For Saramago, the literary text as such exists because of the author, his or her thoughts, perceptions, and emotions, which in turn are reflections of the author's external environment and inner world. Saramago goes further to suggest that the reader's attraction to the literary narrative goes beyond the mere reading of the story unfolding before his or her eyes, in the unconscious quest to uncover its author. While accepting the premise that the authors of the past remain in the present by virtue of the texts they have left behind the living author can and should be judged not solely as a writer, but even more so as a social and ethical individual. Saramago stands in opposition to many in the current landscape of literary studies whose approach is to dissociate the authorial voice from the voice of the actively engaged writer and citizen.
"Is It Time to Return to the Author? Between Omniscient Narrator and Interior Monologue."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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