On February 22nd, 1969, Michel Foucault responded to Barthes’ “Death of the Author” dictum in a lecture entitled “What is an Author?” at the Collège de France. He raised the question of possible future places where fiction will no longer be regulated by the name and figure of the author. 50 years later, in the face of fast-changing writing cultures, DIAPHANES is venturing an experiment: 100 authors from the most diverse backgrounds and languages are invited to produce a text of exactly 1.000 words in the first person, a limit as strict as it is arbitrary.
The more original a work of writing and the more universal its individuality, the more forcefully it is expropriated by and for literature. Pushing this further, the texts will be decoupled from their author’s names. Each piece will be translated into at least one other language, without the original and the translation being identified as such. Freed from the author function, corresponding narratives open up an unexplored space of resonance. A place radically in the present, for future readers.
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR is part of the project AUTHENTICITY AND FEEDBACK which discusses future forms of authorship, explores new modes of existence in literature, and will culminate in a festival at the Espace DIAPHANES in Berlin from the 21th to the 23th of November. The texts will be presented at the event and will form the entirety of issue 7 of the print and digital magazine DIAPHANES.