1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    The Difference?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cacian, Dec 8, 2011.

    Between a writer and an author?
    and what would you call yourslef?
     
  2. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    From professor Wikipedia:

    "Broadly, a writer is anyone who writes, especially one who writes professionally. The term writer is customarily used as a synonym of author, although the latter term has a somewhat broader meaning"

    Basically they are more or less the same thing. I call myself an author.
     
  3. Nicholas C.
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    A writer can be anyone who writes anything - be it a song, a poem, a news article, a research paper...

    An author writes books/novels/stories, whatever you want to call them, specifically (fiction and non-fiction).

    I consider myself both, depending on what I'm doing at the time of course ;)
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I consider them basically interchangeable. If you write something, you're the author of that writing. Therefore, I consider myself both.
     
  5. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    An author is someone who has finished works. A writer is someone who writes a story, article, etc., once something is finished, he is the author of that work.
     
  6. Cacian
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    I consider myself a writer not an author.
     
  7. Cacian
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  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think of it this way: A writer is someone who writes. An author is someone who has written something, but doesn't necessarily write anymore.

    Harper Lee is the author of To Kill A Mockingbird. So she's an author. But she's not a writer, because she hasn't written anything since. She is no longer a writer, but she will always be an author.
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    According to Merriam-Webster

    Definition of AUTHOR
    1
    one that originates or creates : source <software authors> <film authors> <the author of this crime>
    2
    the writer of a literary work (as a book)

    Synonyms: litterateur (or littérateur), pen, penman, scribe, scrivener, writer, man of letters, woman of letters

    Definition of WRITER
    one that writes: as a : author
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Alas, Merriam-Webster again displays their lack of sensitivity to nuance ...
     
  11. Cade Johnson
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    Cade Johnson Member

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    This is a fair way of expressing it. I am a writer, but I am the author of "Atari Boy," "The Dreams of Men," and "Walking Home."
     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or perhaps the nuance is only an artificial one. ;)
     
  13. bruce
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    bruce Active Member

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    a novelist. :)
     
  14. Cacian
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    indeed..I much prefer to try and work itout myself..just in case Merriam Webster is down with a flu or on holiday.;)
     
  15. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Shall we discuss Barthes? Anyone in the mood for a discussion about authority and authorship? Everyone go read The Death of the Author and meet back here in an hour!
     
  16. Cacian
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    Here is a definition I found earlier

    Is this helpful to start with?
     
  17. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Whoa, slow down, we haven't even talked about Barthes and you wanna jump into Foucault!
     
  18. arron89
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    Okay, so Barthes' main concern is the association between author and authority, and the idea that reading/writing under the guise of 'author' creates a limit on the text. He argues that the unity and meaning/significance of a text is derived by the reader; the point of origin is unimportant in any meaningful sense. He replaces 'author', with its connotations of power and authority, with the word 'scriptor', which emphasises the more passive role the writer takes in this context; Barthes argues, I think successfully, that a text is a "fabric of quotations", drawn consciously or otherwise from countless other sources, textual or otherwise.

    Foucault, as you see in the above quotation, goes further when he picks up on Barthes' ideas later, and recalibrates the author not as an generative entity but a function of the text itself; to paraphrase, Foucault asserts that all authors are writers (in the sense of Barthes' scriptors), but not all writers are authors. The author, then, is part of the interpretive structure of a text, generated by the reader, rather than an objective entity that exists alongside or independent of the text. The reader generates the author as a productive source of the text, and so not necessarily the person who penned it; it is a question not of ownership but of productivity.

    (I realise that this is a tangent from the original question, but that question is relatively meaningless, let's at least argue over something significant!)
     
  19. arron89
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    Okay, so Barthes' main concern is the association between author and authority, and the idea that reading/writing under the guise of 'author' creates a limit on the text. He argues that the unity and meaning/significance of a text is derived by the reader; the point of origin is unimportant in any meaningful sense. He replaces 'author', with its connotations of power and authority, with the word 'scriptor', which emphasises the more passive role the writer takes in this context; Barthes argues, I think successfully, that a text is a "fabric of quotations", drawn consciously or otherwise from countless other sources, textual or otherwise.

    Foucault, as you see in the above quotation, goes further when he picks up on Barthes' ideas later, and recalibrates the author not as an generative entity but a function of the text itself; to paraphrase, Foucault asserts that all authors are writers (in the sense of Barthes' scriptors), but not all writers are authors. The author, then, is part of the interpretive structure of a text, generated by the reader, rather than an objective entity that exists alongside or independent of the text. The reader generates the author as a productive source of the text, and so not necessarily the person who penned it; it is a question not of ownership but of productivity.

    (I realise that this is a tangent from the original question, but that question is relatively meaningless, let's at least argue over something significant!)
     
  20. Cacian
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    Foucaul Barthes all the same to me.
    It does look a bit too rich for me maybe you could pave the way, simplify it in order to make sense.
     
  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never trust philosophers.
     
  22. arron89
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    Thank you for that highly insightful comment. I like that you consider yourself above the foremost thinkers of our time.

    Then again, such a sentiment is very common among poststructuralist philosophers, I'm sure Foucault, Derrida, Zizek, etc would approve. So really, it wouldn't be a stretch for me to reposition that comment as being authored, in fact, by Foucault himself, and merely scribed by you.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    regardless of the technicalities, to my mind, a 'writer' is one who 'writes' and an author is a writer whose writings have been published or produced...
     
  24. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, maybe I should've said never trust philosophers because there are so many who place them above everyone else.

    I just find the whole "there's a difference between writers and authors" to be a bit on the pretentious side.
     
  25. Irontrousers
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    Damn yo, that sounds all slick like from a book or what-what.
    So basically any written work (or any work at all for that matter) is the manifestation of the culture that inspired it, and that the writer is merely the channel through which it materialized; therefore, the writer is not the final authority to consult when analyzing the work? Am I following?
    I was actually reading an article about this some time ago and I find it interesting that you bring it up. I don't know what this says about the general community here it WF, but the last thing I ever expected to see here was a discussion on literary theory.
     

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