I just read an article about authorship and the individual genius for another class â€“ Martha Woodmansee's On the Author Effect: Recovering Collectivity. Woodmansee asks right off the bat: "Will the author in the modern sense prove to have been only a brief episode in the history of writing?" She concludes it will.
Had Woodmansee been able to forsee Wiki technology (she wrote the article in 1991) I think she would have made her point MUCH more vigorously.
It seems that we still need the guarantee of original authorship on so many things (a novel, an analytic essay, etc.) but I feel the Wiki are rapidly catapulting us back into collectivity. Just looking at the history of edits on a wikipedia page (like the United States entry, for example) we see that collectivity reigns.
Is the individual author dying out as this collective mode gains speed?? (I think the Wiki are playing a huge role in this trend!)