What is a subject in ‘Writing’
To those who have come out of the creative writing factories they haven’t been taught to ask the right radical questions, such as ‘what is an author?’, ‘what is writing?’, or ‘what is literature?’, questions which, difficult enough in themselves, lead inevitably to questions even more awkward, such as ‘what is a subject?’
For 'writers' we hear their audible voices and their missionary aspirations, the advice might be tread carefully - for the line between a possibly fraudulent lucidity and a fatal opacity in one's need to proselytise
‘Literature is best understood not as a self-contained entity but rather as a writing practice, a particular formation within the world of discourse.’ Literature, that is, loses its ‘privileged’ status, and in so far as it exists at all does so not ‘autonomously’ but as part of a pattern of cultural forces or practices, and finally of a politics.
For when we are rid of all the geocentric myths, when all our naive critical assumptions have been ‘denaturalised’ and understood as cultural artefacts, we shall recognise that everything is, in the end, inescapably politic for ‘no reading is, or should desire to be, innocent of political involvement.’Barbara Johnson lucidly recounts the steps by which ‘writing’ came to mean what it now means, though ends with the revolutionary claim that ‘what is at stake in writing is the very structure of authority itself’
Adorno claimed that ‘Art can only hope to be valid if it provides an implicit critique of the conditions which produce it’.