AbstractHow do conceptions of the literary author change throughout history, and how do they function in specific contexts? The present volume aims to investigate debates on the concept of authorship as a struggle of participants - writers, critics, and scholars - over different conceptions of interpretation. In this struggle all kinds of literary and non-literary norms appear to be at stake. The volume compares the time span around 1900 and 2000, and contrasts the French situation with conditions in other cultures and 'minor literatures'. It addresses the following questions: how did the processes of group-constitution, professionalisation, and (de-)autonomisation of authorship around 1900 and 2000 offer new positionings and roles for writers, and affect conceptions of the author? To what extent can such conceptions of authorship - projected or defended by writers as well as by critics and scholars - be analysed as strategies to claim and legitimise a position in the literary field, respectively in the scholarly field? What light does the analysis of debates about authorship shed on how the social, political or moral relevance of both literature and criticism are defined and defended?
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