Barthes Foucault And The Authorial Voice English Literature Essay

September 18, 2017 English Literature

“ That the universe is my universe shows itself in the fact that the bounds of the linguistic communication ” writes Ludwig Wittgenstein, “ ( the linguistic communication which I understand ) mean the bounds of my universe ” ( 1922: 151 ) . Every person has the point of position in which a text is read ; it is an single worldview that struggles to see beyond its ain bounds. Like Wittgenstein, the intent of this essay is to research the bound of a reader and the long standing place of the writer. Does the restriction of a reader automatically ask for the writer into the text? If yes, what function is he or she expected to play? Is he or she even needed in the text at all? These inquiries shall be critically examined in this essay. Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault have become household names in the unfavorable judgment of auctorial voice. They have contributed vastly to the impression of writing, ownership and authorization of a text. This essay will review their long standing personal opinions on auctorial voice. Both similarities and differences in their theories shall be examined and Samuel Beckett ‘s Waiting for Godot shall function as a pivot in an effort to reexamine the function of the writer.

The function of an writer has raised a really controversial discourse in the last few decennaries. This is a committed person who conceived an thought through his or her originative urge and inscribed the originative thought in a text which automatically qualifies him or her as the proprietor of the text. The text is his or her babe, delivered through the adversity procedure of research and expected to turn and go through through legion human experiences. The relationship between the writer, the text and his or her voice is really dear, but non wholly inseparable. The writer “ creates a universe of phantansy which he takes really earnestly – that is, which he invests with big sums of emotion- while dividing it aggressively from world ” ( Freud, 1908:144 ) . This emotion may be apprehensible and seeable to the reader, but its contents are best known to its writer, the conceiver who is like a covetous female parent that bit by bit guides a kid to a greater tallness.

However, the originality and committed functions of the writer have been challenged by modern theories. The impression that an writer holds absolute authorization of text has been critically reviewed and melting into limbo. The auctorial voice is going something irrelevant in a text, even though the text is his or her originative thought. The authorization of a text is bit by bit switching from its writer to its reader who can see the text in his or her ain cultural mentions and dismisses the importance and prejudices of the writer.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Roland Barthes takes a really strong and affirmatory place on any auctorial issues. He believes a literary text must be viewed based on the clarity of its linguistic communication, construction and genre and without any influences from the writer. In his statements, he negates every auctorial presence in the text and believes in the pureness of literary text and non the domination of a work which allots a particular topographic point to its writer. Barthes ‘ statements are centred on the construction, linguistic communication and genre of the text, he believes “ it is linguistic communication which speaks, non the writer ” ( Barthes, 1968:143 ) . Thus the domination and transparence of the linguistic communication, will oppugn the beginning and being of the writer in a text. As mentioned at the beginning of this essay, the auctorial voice may go something limbo, if merely the construction and linguistic communication can successfully pass on significance in a text. As a consequence of this, “ the voice loses its beginning, the writer enters into his ain decease ” ( Barthes, 1968: 142 ) .

Barthes does non halt on the note of significance, but farther warns that an effort to trust on auctorial voice may take to the centralisation of significance and concentration of authorization in one manus which could pervert perfectly. For Barthes, the writer is merely and single that must lose his or her authorization for the success of linguistic communication which reflects significance, non harmonizing to the auctorial purpose, but purely based on its readers ‘ cultural codifications. Language has become a “ transitive ” device that signifies intending in a text, “ linguistic communication is restored to the nature of instrument of communicating, a vehicle of “ thought ” ( Barthes, 1960:189 )

He farther extends his statement to the openness and multiplicity of significance in a text. He argues that a text could merely be unfastened with multiple significance and be successful if lone it could stomp out what he identifies as “ the message of the Author-God ” ( Barthes, 1968: 146 ) . By this, he means no individual significance must be attributed to a text and the fact that text is a aggregation of legion civilizations, must uncover different significances to different people. In another words, intending must non be fixed, but must be brooding through the construction, linguistic communication and genre of the text. Barthes ‘s statements switch attending from the individualisation of the writer to its readers. He urges every reader to use Berthold Brecht ‘s Alienation theory which is a distancing consequence that allows them to be critical about the text and its context and besides to de-familiarize themselves from the auctorial presence in the text.

In one of his major essays, ‘From Work to Text ‘ published in 1971, Barthes farther argues that a text can be “ read without the warrant of its male parent ” ( Barthes, 1971: 170 ) and besides spells out the duty of an writer merely as a subscriber, non the chief voice and that the reader must take the function of the writer, to “ bring forth the text, open it out, put it traveling. ” ( Barthes, 1971:171 ) .

His chief dogma is eventually expressed at the terminal of ‘Death of an Author’as he announces “ we know that to give composing its hereafter, it is necessary to subvert the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the decease of the Author ” ( Barthes, 1977:148 )

Expanding further on Roland Barthes ‘s theory, Michel Foucault, a fellow Gallic bookman, well- known for his discourse rational manner, writes extensively on the topic of writing. Before looking at Foucault ‘s impression of Authorship, it is of import to rapidly advert his rational worldview of ‘discursive formation ‘ , something wholly different from Barthes ‘s statement on linguistic communications, construction and genre. Foucault speaks about discourse which involves statements and extended treatment on any given topic. By using his ‘discursive formation ‘ to many topics, he has been able to look at such topics historically and linguistically. His theory involves the cognition and truth in a topic, Foucault believes everything exists within a discourse, therefore we could state that discourse is the wide entirety of a topic, it expresses anything and everything within human experience, ‘between objects, types of statement, construct of thematic picks, one can specify a regularityaˆ¦that we are covering with a dianoetic formation ‘ ( Foucault, 1972: 38 )

Without excessively much aside, Foucault ‘s impression of writing is a bit different from Barthes statements even though they both refuse the impression of ‘Author-God ‘ . Foucault condemns our “ individualisation ” of the writer and the particular attending we give to his or her voice, but believes the text must out-shine its writer. The writer must step aside for the text to be “ transitive ”

The above duologue between Estragon and Vladimir, explains the drama as existentialist- theory which inquiries and at the same clip explains the life of adult male as a waiting game. And while waiting for whatever ground it might be, we tend to make many activities to go through the clip, we perform several repeated undertakings such as traveling to our day-to-day work, traveling on long or short vacation, re-location and diversion et cetera, all these in an effort to regenerate our hopes, the demand for new beginning, for new life, ne’er stoping tomorrow. The functions and activities of Estragon and Vladimir clearly exemplify these perennial activities with an effort to happen significance in life while waiting for Godot.

This human quandary is farther explained in Albert Camus ‘s The Myth of Sisyphus. The ground for Sisyphus ‘s ineffectual labor is of less importance to this essay, but his activities are evident and similar to Estragon ‘s and Vladimir ‘s activities – the activities that make them Sisyphean paradigm. Their passion for endurance has earned them “ that indefinable punishment in which the whole being is exerted towards carry throughing nil. “ ( Camus, 1955:108 ) , the worse thing is that “ the stone is still turn overing ” ( Camus, 1955:111 ) for these two absurd characters.


I'm Amanda

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out