After the institutionalization of English within higher education, academia starts to become a rival to creative writing and, particularly after the High Theory of the 1960s, writers are gradually displaced or replaced by critics. This article argues that because of the twentieth-century critics’ deemphasis on the author since the professionalization of English literature as an academic discipline and in the wake of Roland Barthes’s famous announcement of the death of the author, symptoms of paranoia and anxiety projected onto protagonists of novels who are often writers begin emerging as a feature of creative writing from the 1960s to the 1980s. This article argues that paranoid delusions and the fear of losing authorial agency are a significant source of artistic creativity as the writer projects these semi-paranoid delusions, fears, and anxieties onto characters and stories. This article contends that the protagonist, Wilfred Barclay, is a paranoid creative writer, the author’s alter-ego, who anxiously tries to construct and defend an authorial identity and agency, though a textualized fictitious one. This article also argues that Tucker is a symbolic reification of Barclay’s own delusions and perhaps Golding’s.

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