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Kenneth Brummel

Kenneth Brummel is curator of international art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Who and What Are Drawing Thus?

Approximately two years after Robert Motherwell abruptly stopped working on his “Lyric Suite” (1965), Roland Barthes, in his 1967 essay “The Death of the Author,” inquired about the status of the narrative voice in Honoré de Balzac’s Sarrasine (1830). “Who is speaking thus?” the French critic wondered. Is it “the hero of the story,” “Balzac the individual,” “Balzac the author,” or “Romantic psychology?” Concluding that one can never know, Barthes goes on to define writing as a space where the author “slips away,” as it is a medium where all identity, especially that of the writer, evaporates into the ether of language.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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