In one of her emails to me my daughter cited the literary concept/essay by Roland Barthes known as The Death of the Author. “Barthes’s essay argues against traditional literary criticism’s practice of incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in an interpretation of a text, and instead argues that writing and creator are unrelated.”
She cited this essay as a way to illustrate what she saw as the death of the mother (the author), that I had nothing to do with her (the text), that she had nothing do with me and that anything she was, is, ever will be had nothing to do with her “creator”. She did make sure to include her adoptive parents in there too.Â Essentially she is her own being and has no relation, connection, or other to me, her father or her adoptive parents.
On one hand I can appreciate that. I was much like that at about her same age. I fumed with anger if my parents ever tried to stake claim to anything I did (particularly since in my case, my parents did very little for me and seemed only to want to claim my accomplishments but were never there when I failed or struggled) .Â Yet I still claimed them as my parents and gave them credit for traits of mine (good and bad) that I had clearly inherited from them either via nature or nurture.
My daughter disregards the nature and nurture and wraps her belief up in literary essays as a way of explaining it all.
On the other hand,Â while I find the explanation/connection intellectually interesting, it made me sad. To feel you come from no where, belong to no one, have nothing in common with anyone on this earth, to believe you are a single solitary being with no connection to anyone, feels so terribly dark and so horribly alone to me.