A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments - Pages 138-183 Summary & Analysis

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Pages 138-183 Summary and Analysis

In "Greatly Exaggerated" Wallace analyzes "Morte d'Author," a piece of literary criticism by H. L. Hix. Part of Hix's work is a summary of the dispute between European poststructuralists, who believe that the concept of an author does not make sense, and their American counterparts, who believe the concept has some validity. Poststructuralists believe that while a writer's historical situation is important to understanding a text, it cannot be all of the understanding because a text's meaning is also constructed by its readers. Hix avoids a direct conflict into this dispute by analyzing how people actually use the term "author." However, Wallace believes Hix only saves the concept of the author by bringing including everything in the concept, making it empty. In the end, Wallace believes the whole question of whether the author is real is somewhat pointless.

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