Granted, the "author-function" proper is not rooted in the identity of the artist, rather it is the grounded in the disciplined classification of the artist based on analysis of his or her works. However, as can be seen Prince knows the contribution which interview situations make to the frameworks in which society will classify him. Indeed, in discussing his interview practices, reporters reveal his intense involvement in making sure that he controls all of the conditions in which his voice becomes public. Prince/ sounds quite aware, in fact, of the functionality of authorship in our society when he discusses his music as well.

Following is a look at the difficulty within this artist's world of establishing simple elements of his childhood. He shifts the focus from media to interviewers to himself to his management--making clear (or unclear) the mediated, negotiated nature of his identity.

  • Q: How do you feel about how you have been portrayed in the media?
    A. If people would go back and read in the newspaper all the things that have been written about me that wasn't true, they'd know, and they could judge things for themselves. I don't know what happened. The media has lost control. It's got too much power. What do these people think? That they're never going to see me again?

  • Prince to Graustark: "I tried 2 or 3 (interviews) and they were fiascoes. They didn't believe anything I was saying, from my name on down to my background, so I said I'm not going to let anything get out in the public eye that is going to be misquoted. They didn't believe I ran away as much as I did and not at such an early age. They didn't believe I got out of school early-no black kid in Minneapolis does." (S.I.) #72

  • Tooling through the neighborhood, Prince speaks matter-of-factly of why he toyed with early interviewers about his father and mother, their divorce and his adolescent wanderings between the homes of his parents, friends and relatives. "I used to tease a lot of journalists early on," he says, "because I wanted them to concentrate on the music and not so much on me coming from a broken home.

    Musician: I once heard you described as a child prodigy. Prince: Don't. That's all fabricated evidence that the management did to make it happen. I don't want to say that I was anything less than what they thought, but I just did it as sort of a hobby and then it turned into a job and just a way to eat and now I do it as art.

The instability in his very foundation makes difficult the ascription of a critically based author function when both he and critics use it to understand the nature of his work.

  • I always said that one day I would play all kinds of music and not be judged for the color of my skin but the quality of my work, and hopefully I will continue.

  • Though he is half white, he identifies completely as a black man and talks about the lack of images for black children in movies and television.

  • His high-minded supporters might say those are normal protective feelings for somebody who was kicked onto the streets by his beloved father at age fourteen.
  • It's also worth bearing in mind that early in his childhood the young Prince Rogers Nelson ran away from his mother in order to be with his father, a musician.