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    • Sikaiadah Newton on January 22, 2020 at 8:38 pm
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    Sikaiadah Newton
    Dr. Konkol
    ENGL 701
    23 Jan. 2020
    Academic Critical Reading Response: The Death of the Author
    Roland Barthes on page 6 of his writing, “The Death of the Author”, stated, “…the birth of the reader must be ransomed by the death of the author” (Barthes 6). When considering his language within this writing, one must first unpack the title of this text to understand the underlining meaning of what is being rendered by him in this piece of literature. To do so, death or the concept of it must be defined. Then, the role of the author must be labeled and understood. When considering death, it is a term that is used to describe an end state of physical being. However, for some in society, death can mean eternal life. It can connect an element to the spiritual essence of infinite existence. In the literary world, the concept of death is a symbol that can be linked to the 20th Century. During this timeframe of modernism, within the craft of writing, the writer was the author who broke free of tradition. Based on this modernist ideology pertaining to the world of literature, the author of work that was produced during this era wanted to create a new perception of how the author was perceived. With this transition, the author could also uphold the role of the narrator. To exit an old way of writing, the author had to be interpreted as dead. To enter into a new way of seeing literature, “the image of the author” (Barthes 3) had to be altered to the role of the narrator so that the author could have a voice since written discourse is another form of language for humankind.
    The language of humankind is a mode of discourse that is a part of a language system. It is coded within context as it expresses one’s ideologies. When the author writes, this entity has the ability to contextualize language so that it has a function. Since “words are generally considered to be the basic elements of language” (Biber, Conrad, and Leech 14), they “are relatively fixed in their internal form, but they are independent in their role in larger units” (Biber, Conrad, and Leech 14). When written discourse is rendered by the author who can take on the role of the narrator, the text then functions as a form of speech in which it must perform to meet the intellect of the reader. As this transpires, the reader attempts to decode the utterances as based on cultural knowledge that can be linked to one’s community of practice. Due to this process, here is when the reader gives birth to the text of the author. However, the author is never dead because the author is the responsible entity for providing the reader with written readable text that can be defined as an utterance that has captured a modern moment in time.
    The author narrates so that the text is discovered. For the text to be discovered, the reader must realize that the words function and preform to encompass meaning that is of subjective and objective knowledge. In turn, this meaning must be deciphered by the reader. When this occurs, the reader brings life to the words of the author. The reader creates an evolutionary cycle which rebirths the author so that this entity is not dead in the literary world. According to de Saussure, discourse is language and when language is used by the author who is the narrator who is the speaker, this entity is the parole. When language is interpreted “as a system of signs” (Makaryk 535), it can be defined as langue. To take on the perception and ideology of the 20th Century and by considering all stated, literature is an element of the language system where the author positions self as the narrator to render utterances as parole that hold true to the langue of the reader. For this reason, “The Death of the Author” does not exist.

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