Artificial intelligence is a source of both excitement and fear for writers. Yes, we all dreamed of having our very own Iron Giant as a child, but what if our robot friend turns on us? What if he gets out of control and we can’t stop him? What if he turns on us completely? What if all that cold logic results in a lack of empathy? We fear that our creation will ultimately be our destruction, much like in Frankenstein, and that we will powerless in the face of what we ourselves have put together. In effect, we fear our own hubris and dread the day that science will finally cross that line, with no going back and no one but ourselves to blame.
…So naturally we can’t get enough of these stories!
“Death found an author writing his life” (E. Hull, 1827).
This is one of those texts that are absolutely inescapable for literature students. Wherever you live, whichever classes you choose, at one point in your academic career you will encounter Roland Barthes’ “Death of the Author.” Whether you agree with him or not, Barthes introduced a concept that was truly revolutionary and is still a game-changing read for many first- and second-year literature students to this day.