Currere or The Erasure of the Author:

Does it Really Matter Who the Scholar is?

  • Marla Morris


Many academic presses do not like personal narratives because they are not considered professional and who cares about the author?! Some editors argue that libraries will not buy academic books that have personal narratives embedded in them. Why is it that scholars are supposed to hide behind their writings? This debate can be traced back to ancient debates in philosophy where it was argued that what mattered was the text at hand and not who wrote it. Derrida (2004) deals with this question in the film Derrida, which is a biography and documentary about his life and work. When asked the question about the life of a philosopher, Derrida intimates that for traditional philosophers all that matters is that Heidegger, for example, lived, wrote and died. In other words, the life of the philosopher does not matter. What matters are the texts he/she leaves behind.