- author (n.)
- mid-14c., auctor, autour, autor "father, creator, one who brings about, one who makes or creates" someone or something, from Old French auctor, acteor "author, originator, creator, instigator" (12c., Modern French auteur) and directly from Latin auctor "enlarger, founder, master, leader," literally "one who causes to grow," agent noun from auctus, past participle of augere "to increase" (see augment).
From late 14c. as "a writer, one who sets forth written statements." Also from late 14c. as "source of authoritative information or opinion," now archaic but the sense behind authority, etc. In Middle English sometimes confused with actor. The -t- changed to -th- 16c. on mistaken assumption of Greek origin.
...[W]riting means revealing onesself to excess .... This is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why even night is not night enough. ... I have often thought that the best mode of life for me would be to sit in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar with my writing things and a lamp. Food would be brought and always put down far away from my room, outside the cellar's outermost door. The walk to my food, in my dressing gown, through the vaulted cellars, would be my only exercise. I would then return to my table, eat slowly and with deliberation, then start writing again at once. And how I would write! From what depths I would drag it up! [Franz Kafka]
- author (v.)
- 1590s, from author (n.). Revived 1940s, chiefly U.S. Related: Authored; authoring.