This essay inquires into the institutionalization of the author as a governing practice. I observe the experience of two authors—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and “Mr. Perestroika”—in relationship to two institutions—the Soviet Writers' Union and the American Political Science Association—as they contest the imperative to produce cultural/knowledge representations on behalf of the present. Drawing on Michel Foucault's identification of the political practice of parrēsia and its relationship to ontologies of veridiction, I argue that the institutionalization of the author stabilizes a circuitry of value in which the performance imperative dominates transformative thought.

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