The word author has several meanings:
- The author of a book, story, article or the like, is the person who has written it (or is writing it). This can be short or long, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, technical or literature; in particular it is a profession (doing this for pay).
- An author is someone who originates or causes or initiates something.
- The same as definition number 1, but applied to music. The sole fact of creating a sequence of notes, even if they are not written on paper, might give someone the title of author of a melody, chords sequence, arrangement, etc.
- In biology, the author of the scientific name of a taxon is the person or team who first makes the name available by publication and description.
Sometimes, the French word Auteur is used to denote the authorship of a movie, meaning the Director of the movie.
The phrase "Death of the Author" was popularized by Roland Barthes in his 1968 essay of the same name. "The Death of the Author" is associated with Critical Theory. It is used to convey the idea that texts have meaning and an independent existence outside that intended by the author, depending on the context and reader.