The Teaching of King
Commentary. General issues
Authorship: concepts of 'origin', 'originality', 'closed text' and 'authorship' belong to a knot of related assumptions in modern consumption and production of writing For the authorship of the Teaching, compare the following two assertions:
Why do we feel the need for an author?
Consider the influence of economic individualism, and the related theory of the genius.
A manuscript of the late New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC) includes a passage on the power of writing,
in which it is said that the Teaching of King Amenemhat I was written by a man
named Khety for King Senusret I.
How should we 'read' such an explicit statement? What is the relation of the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC) Egyptian to the past?
Before taking the ascription to Khety at face value, consider other pre-industrial ascriptions of authorship:
Cerquiglini 1989: 49-52 on the 'modern invention' of the 'medieval author' Marie de France out of internal (not paratextual) references. What are the differences and similarities between the case of 'Marie de France' and the construction of an author 'Khety' for Middle Egyptian compositions ?
Copyright © 2000 University College London. All rights reserved.