Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Changing Subjects in Roland Barthes "Death of an Author" and Jacques Derrida's "Structure, Sign, and Play" (Oct. 2002; Scanned)

Changing Subjects in Roland Barthes "Death of an Author" and Jacques Derrida's "Structure, Sign, and Play" (Oct. 2002; Scanned)

Ratings:

5.0

(1)
|Views: 310 |Likes:
First paragraph:

Both Roland Barthes, in “Death of the Author,” and Jacques Derrida, in “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” make explicit statements concerning “subjects” (i.e., individuals) that would be anathema to those who believe that certain writers are geniuses. It is this artefact, this particular subject--the Author (or engineer)--along with its prestige, that Barthes and Derrida are most interested in disassembling. However, Derrida, by drawing attention to the leadership and exceptional nature of both Claude Lévi-Strauss and Friedrich Nietzsche, and by characterizing deconstruction as a critical approach to language which not only provides more choices to the writer, but which enables choice, implicitly suggests that he still believes in the writer as empowered. It is likely that Derrida would prefer that “his” text communicate to readers that humanists have vastly both overestimated and overemphasized the control and creativity of single individuals. But given that many of his readers live in cultures which celebrate and believe in geniuses, Derrida may have to be as careful as Barthes is when discussing innovation to avoid unintentionally reinforcing readers’ prejudices.
First paragraph:

Both Roland Barthes, in “Death of the Author,” and Jacques Derrida, in “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” make explicit statements concerning “subjects” (i.e., individuals) that would be anathema to those who believe that certain writers are geniuses. It is this artefact, this particular subject--the Author (or engineer)--along with its prestige, that Barthes and Derrida are most interested in disassembling. However, Derrida, by drawing attention to the leadership and exceptional nature of both Claude Lévi-Strauss and Friedrich Nietzsche, and by characterizing deconstruction as a critical approach to language which not only provides more choices to the writer, but which enables choice, implicitly suggests that he still believes in the writer as empowered. It is likely that Derrida would prefer that “his” text communicate to readers that humanists have vastly both overestimated and overemphasized the control and creativity of single individuals. But given that many of his readers live in cultures which celebrate and believe in geniuses, Derrida may have to be as careful as Barthes is when discussing innovation to avoid unintentionally reinforcing readers’ prejudices.

More info:

Published by: Patrick McEvoy-Halston on Jun 29, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/09/2014

pdf

text

original

P a tric k M c E v o y -Ha ls to n
E n g lis h4 6 llF 0 l
D r.S te p h e nR o s s
1 1 O c t o be r 2 0 0 2
C h a n g in gS u b je c tsin R o la n dB a rth e s"D e a th o f th e A u th o r" a n d in J a c q u e sD e rrid a 's "S tru c tu re ,
S ig n ,a n d P la y in th e D is c o u r s eo f th e H u m a n S c ie n c e s "
B o t h R o l a n d B a r t h e s , i n " D e a t h o f t h e A u t h o r , " a n d J a c q u e sD e rrid 4i n "S tru c tu re ,S ig n ,
a n d P la y in th e D is c o u r s eo f th e H u m a n S c ie n c e s ,"m a k e e x p lic it s ta te m e n tsc o n c e m in g
-u .{
" i l ' .: t t ' t
it'i1 ,
" s u b je c ts "(i.e .,in d iv id u a ls ) th a t w o u ld b e a n a th e m ato th o s ew h o b e lie v e th a tc e rta in w rite rs a re
g e n iu s e s .I t i s t h i s a f i e f a c t ,t h i sp a rtic u la r,
s u b je c f-th e A u th o r(o r e n g in e e r)-a lo n gw ith its
p re s tig e ,th a t B a rth e sa n d D e rrid a a ru n o s t in te re s te dind is a s s e m b lin g .H o w e v e r,D e rrid a ,b y
d ra w in g a tte n tio n to th e le a d e rs h ipa n d e x c e p tio n a l
n a tu reo fb o th C la u d eL 6 v i- S h a u s sa n d
F r i e d r i c h N i e t z s c h e , a n d b y c h a r a c t e r i z i n g d e c o n s t r u c t i o na s a c ritic a l a p p ro a c hto la n g u a g e
w h ic h n o t o n ly p ro v id e s m o re c h o ic e st o th e w rite r, b u t w h ic h e n a b le sc h o ic e ,im p lic ifly s u g g e s ts
th a t h e s till b e lie v e sin th e w rite r a s e r n p o w e r e d . I t i s l i k e l y t h a t D e r r i d a w o u ld p re fe r th a t 'tis "
t e x t c o m m u n i c a t e t o r e a d e r s t h a t h u m a n is ts h a v e v a s t l y b o t h o v e r e s t i m a t e da n d o v e re m p h a s iz e d
th e c o n to l a n d c re a tiv ity o f s in g le in d iv id u a ls . B u t g iv e n th a t m a n y o f h i s r e a d e r sl i v e i n
i
- i\ ,
J
. .
c u ltu re sw h ic h c e le b ra tea n d b e lie v ei ng e n iu s e s ,
D e , r r i d a m a y h a v e t o b e a s c a r e f i r l a s B a r th e sis
w h e n d i s c u s s i n gi n n o v a t i o n t o a v o i d u n i n t e n t i o n a l l yre in fo rc in g re a d e rs 'p r e ju d ic e s .
T h e N o r t o n A n t h o l o e y o f T h e o r y a n d C r i t i c i s m s t a t e st h a t s t r u c t u r a l i s m " s h a r e sin th e
w i d e s p r e a d a n d o n g o i n g m o d e m a n t i h u m a n i s m t h a t d e c e n t e r st h e i n d i v i d u a l , p o rh a y in g th e s e lf
a s a c o n s tu c t a n d a c o n s e q u e n c e
o f im p e r s o n a ls y s t\u20ac rrs . In d iv id u a ls [a c c o rd in g to s tu c fir a lis t
c ritic s ] n e ith e ro rig in a te n o r c o n tro lth e c o n v e n tio n so fth e ir s o c ia le x is te n c e ,
m e n ta llife , o r
m o th e rto n g u e "(2 0 ). A n db e c a u s ein d iv id u a lsa r e b e t t e ru n d e r s t o o da s a c te du p o n th a n a s w ilfu l
in itia to rs ,s tru c tu ra lis tsp re fe r th e te rm "s u b je c t,"w h ic h c o n n o te so b e d ie n c ea n d s u b ju g a tio n ,
t o
"p e rs o n ,"w h ic h c o n n o te sa n a c tiv e w ill(2 0 ). B o th B a rth e s ,a s tu c fu ra lis t,
a n d D e r r i d a ,a
d e c o n s tru c tio n is t,
u s e th e w o rd " s u b je c t" ra th e rth a n"p e rs o n " inth e ir te x ts ,a n d b o th c ritic s
L
a g r e et h a t in d iv id u a lsh a v e lim ite d c o n tro lo v e rla n g u a g e .
T h o u g hb o th B a r t h e sa n d D e rrid ab e lie v e th a te v e ry o n eis a s u b je c t,b e c a u s eth e yb o th
s h a r ea n in te r e s tin a b o lis h in gth e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h eA u th o r/e n g in e e r,
th e y a tte n d ,inp a rtic u la r,
t o th e w ritin g -s u b je c t(i.e .,th e w rite r).T h o u g h B a rth e sis a rg u in g th a tth ere a d e rre q u ire sm o re ,
n o t le s s ,a tte n tio nth a n th e w rite rn o r m a llyre c e iv e s ,
B a rth e sh o p e sto m a k e th is a rg u m e n t
b y firs t
d e m o n s tra tin gh o w in a p p ro p ria teth e h u m a n is tr e v e re n c efo r th e A u th o ris /w a s .B a rth e sis
d is g u s te db y th e " p a th e ticv ie w o f h isp re d e c e s s o rs "
(1 4 6 8 )th a t"[a n A u th o r's ]p e rs o n ,
h is life ,
h is ta s te s ,
h is p a s s io n s "
(1 4 6 6 )d e s e ru ec lo s ea tte n tio n .B a rth e sc la im sth a tth is c o n c e p tio no fth e
w rite r a sg e n iu sis n o wk n o w n to b e m is le a d in g - - it
w as" k ille d " b y th e d is c o v e rie so flin g u is tic s
(1 4 6 7 ).H is r e p la c e m e n t
fo r th ec o n c e p to f a n a u to n o m o u s
A u th o r--th es c rip to r--e lim in a te s ,
b e c a u s en o n eo fh is /tre ri d e a sa re o r i g i n a l , b e c a u s eh e / s h e c a n o n ly " im ita ts . .'.-lg e s tu re s "
(1 4 6 8 ),
a n d b e c a u s eh e /s h e ,a sm u c h a s th ete x t,is a "s p a c ein w h ic h a v a rie ty o f [in flu e n c e s f. .J o le n d
a n d c la s h "(1 4 6 8 ),th e " p re s tig eo f th e in d iv id u a l"(1 4 6 6 ).
D e r r i d a ,t o o , d e rid e st h e id e aof an e n g i n e e r
"w h o c o u ld s u p p o s e d ly
b e th e a b s o lu te
o r ig in o f h is o w n d is c o u r s ea n dw o u ld s u p p o s e d ly
c o n s tru c t
it'o u t o f n o th in g " '(9 6 5 ).I n fa c t,
a rg u a b ly ,g iv e n is o la te de x a m p le sfro mh is te x t,D e rrid aq u a lifie s a m o r e lim ite d ro le fo r th e
w rite r th a nB a rth e sd o e s .B a rth e sis d r a m a tic a llyc irc u m s c rib in gth e tra d itio n a lro le o f th e w rite r
s o th a t"h ispow eris [o n ly ] to m ix w ritin g s "(1 4 6 8 ). B u t B a rth e s '
s c rip to r,th o u g hn e a rly
p o w e rle s s ,
s till ilra n g e s --th a tis ,h e s till h a s s o m ein flu e n c eo n w h e n a th o u g h tb e g in so r e n d s .
D e rrid a 'sw rite ri s d e s c rib e da sm e re ly" fo llo w [in g ] . .)'tra c e s 'w h e re v e r
it le a d s "(9 7 0 ).H e /s h e
/
b e c o m e s 'a lm o s t
ld c o m p le te ly p a s s iv ea g e n tb y"s u rre n d e r[in
g ]" (9 7 0 1 3 i-t.]d toth e a g e n c yo f
' :- ' . . ' /
s ig n ifie r s .D e rrid a d e s c r ib e st h is a c tiv ity a s a n "a d v e n tu re "(9 7 0 ), b u t,a t tim e s ,th is a d v e n tu reis
c h a ra c te riz e d
s o th a tit s e e m st h a tit is th e s ig n ifie r s th a ta d v e n tu re ,
w ith th e w rite rm e re ly
p r o v id in gtra n s p o rt.
3

H o w e v e r , i fa w r i t e r ' sp o w e rs a r e v a s t l y l i m i t e dc o m p a re dt oth e h u m a n i s t c o n c e p t i o n o f th e m ,th e n n o s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l w a : r a n t st h e a t t e n t i o nf o r m e r l y la v is h e du p o n th e m . In d e e d ,t o o m u c ha tte n tio nto a n yp a rtic u la r w r i t e r r i s k sc o n v e y in gth e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t i t i s e x a c t l y th e

w rite r's"p e rs o n ,
h is life , h is ta s te s ,
h is p a s s io n s "
(1 4 6 6 ),f f idm a y b ee v e nh is g e n iu sw h ic h a r e
w o r t h n o t i n g . T h e s u b j e c t a s g e n iu sis th e f u n d a m e n t a l
c o n c e p tio nof anin d iv id u a lto b e a v o id e d
b y th o s ew h o fa v o u r a n a ly z in ga te x t's c o m p le x ityo v e ra w r ite r 's c o n s c io u s n e s s ,
b e c a u s ea
g e n iu so rig in a te s ;
h e /s h eis c o n s tru e da s th e s o u rc eo f h is /h e rte x t. Y e t b o th B a rth e sa n d
D e r r id a ,w h o e x p lic itly d e n y th a tw rite rsa re o rig in a to rs ,
b o th a c k n o w le d g eth a tth e reh a v eb e e n
v e ry i m p o r t a n t i n n o v a t i o n si n c r i t i c a l t h o u g h t w h i c hh a v e le a d toa m o re s o p h is tic a te d
u n d e rs ta n d in go f l a n g u a g e . T h e r e is n o th in g in tr in s ic a llyp ro b le m a tica b o u tth e ir
a c k n o w le d g e m e n t
o f c o n trib u tio n s .B u t s in c ein n o v a tio n h a s fo r s o lo n g b e e n a s s o c ia te d
w ith
th e e ffo rts o f g e n iu s e s ,
b o th B a rth e sa n d D e rrid ac a n c o u n to nh a v in g th e irq u a lifie da p p re c ia tio n
b e in g m is u n d e rs to o d
b y re a d e rs .B a rth e s ,
h o w e v e r,m o re s o th a n D e r r i d a ,c a r e f u l l y d e a lsw ith
in n o v a tio nin h is te x t s o a s to m in im iz eit s a s s o c ia tio nw ithg re a tin d iv id u a ls .
B a r th e sn o to n ly te lls u s th a tit is "th ete x t its e lf [w h ic h ]p la y s "(1 4 7 2 ),th a tit is la n g u a g e
w h ic h"'p e rfo rm s ,'a n d n o tfr.
1 'h im
,1 "
(1 4 6 7 ),h e c o n v in c e s
u s th a ti n d i v i d u a l sa r e l e s s
\,tS I
t '
im p o rta n tth a t w e m ig h th e re to fo re im a g in e d .
I m p o r t a n t d e v e l o p m e n t s
in th e h is to ry o f th o u g h t,
s u c ha s th e m o res o p h is tic a te d
u n d e rs ta n d in g
o fth e w rite r a s a n i n t e g r a t e d s u b j e c t ,f f i e
a c k n o w le d g e db y B a rth e s ,
b u th e c re d its th e m to th e w o rko f a c o lle c tiv e --lin g u is ts ,
fo r e x a m p le -
-ra th e rth a n to th e e ffo rtsof onem an. H e re fe rst o th e d is c o v e r ie so f"re c e n tre s e a rc h "(L 4 6 9 ),
w h ic h c o n v e y sa s e n s e t h a t r e s e a r c hn a t u r a l l y g iv e sris e to d is c o v e r ie s .In th is in s ta n c e ,
h e a ls o
re fe rsto th ee ffo rtso f a s p e c ificre s e a rc h e r,
b u t w ith in p a re n th e s is
("(J .-P .V e rn a n t)"[1 4 6 9 ]),s o
th a t its in c lu s io ninth e te x tseem so p tio n a l.B a rth e su n d e rs ta n d s
th a t if h e w a n tsto p e rs u a d eh is
re a d e rsth a t" v o ic e [s h o u ld ]lo s r
.j t r
o rig in " (1 4 6 6 ),h e is b e s ts e rv e db y re fe rrin gt o g ro u p so r

Activity (4)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
mariana liked this
mariana liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->