"What Is an Author?" (French: Qu'est-ce qu'un auteur?) is one of the most important lectures given at the Société Française de Philosophie on 22 February 1969 by French philosopher, sociologist and historian Michel Foucault.[1]

The Author is a certain functional principle by which, in our culture, one limits, excludes and chooses: ... The author is therefore the ideological figure by which one marks the manner in which we fear the proliferation of meaning.

For many, Foucault's lecture responds to Roland Barthes' essay "The Death of the Author".


  1. ^ Bouchard, Donald F. ed., Language, Counter-memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault (Cornell University Press, 1980), 113.