Death Of An Author Analysis

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Traditionally, the concepts of reading and writing have been treated superficially by scholars and academics. Prior to the emergence of American New Criticism, the study of literature was predominantly focused on plot, characters, and how the reader felt. However, this failed to account for the language of the literature. By looking at the Literary schools of New Criticism, Russian Formalism, Structuralism, etc., views of reading and writing have dramatically changed throughout the past century, we have found, to debunk literature and create a reading/writing experience that more fully delves into its mechanics. Through the school of American New Criticism and Russian Formalism, the concept of reading became an entirely different entity from …show more content…
Writing is a performance and is born from the figurative death of the author, Barthes argues. He separates writing from the author which had, in the past, been irrevocably intertwined; every piece of writing signified the legacy and image of the author. However, Barthes introduces a new theory which changes literary studies forever as the sheer amount of discourse his works induce alone is overwhelming. Barthes reasons that writing, within itself, has no identifiable voice because “the voice loses its origin” (55). Just as the work cannot exist without the functionality of the text, writing can be separated from its origin (the brain of the author). Barthes writes, “suppressing the author in favor of writing and thereby restoring as we shall see, the reader’s place” (56). This signifies the shift that has been building since New criticism and Russian formalism emerged of the role of the reader. Barthes believes the author has less relevance to the writing than everyone had traditionally thought. His main point was that text exists here and now, even though it was nurtured by an author. This connects with his infamous statement that “the birth of the author must be requited by the death of the author” (59). Barthes’ contribution to the field of literary criticism and theory revolutionized the way we think about authorship, writing, and

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