Friday, October 24, 2008

"The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author."- Barthes

In Roland Barthes' Death of the Author, Barthes notes that when the author dies there is no longer holds on the text for meaning. The text becomes free and thus more meaning can be developed. I would like to explore the idea of the destination of the text. " A text's unity lies not in its origin but in its destination."- Barthes 189. Barthes is addressing that true meaning of a text lies within the reader. The questions consequently follow are: What is a text? What is a reader? As for the text we view it as a scriptor or words which can only be understood by the use of other words. As for the reader, the "I" notion follows this and thus the text is given an innumerable amount of meaning pertaining back to the reader. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? For the main reason that it opens up meaning, I consider it good. The reader is allowed to explores meanings pertinant to them without having to retrace back to a particular source. By allowing the reader to relate in his or her own way to the text, multiple meanings are produced.
On a different note, it is interesting to notice authorship in blogs.

I stumbled across a blog on how pseudonymity is used and how in the blog world it gives access to those who seek deviant behavior, to partake in such. Kathryn Cramer (I assume this is her real name since she's blogged numerous times against anonymous and pseudonymity in blogs) points out the deviant behavior as the aggressive commenter. She states that no one truly desires to be anonymous when writing in blogs because us bloggers always are writing to express ourselves and our thoughts. Thus we are putting out in the public something about us that matters. She stresses that many people "reject," post negative comments on blogs because they themselves feel rejected. I personally disagree with this. What about a blogger that is discusses the campaign and posts false info about a candidate? Another blogger may comment to clarify to other bloggers. Many people, especially since it ties with politics may see this as an attack, when really it is just a manner of expression and freedom of speech. I am aware that there are some "snerts" (as she referred to nasty commenters) that attack the same blogger over and over again, but I think to say that the rejection of something shows rejection within that blogger is completly absurd.
In another one of Ms.Cramer's post she discusses how happy she was that, makes people publish their real names when they comment on a product. They trademarked the Real Name feature. I thought this was very interesting in the sense now that with technology everything we write will follow us and be automatically connected to the person. I'm glad that I can still use a pseudonym on blogs, while I grapple with theory.


Kate said...

You make a really insightful point. I feel like part of anonymity and pseudonyms is a subtle pleasure. Although we pretend not to seek recognition, we may still be proud of the things that we produce. Part of the fun of being incognito is the thrill of being discovered, right?
Great post!

Ms.Bean said...

I liked reading your thoughts on pseudonymity. I think that they are very usefull, beyond being a fun tool to create an alternate id for yourself, they are also a safe and interesting way to express ideas and thoughts that we might feel uncomfortable sharing as our real world selves.