A thinktool for bloggers : Intertextuality (“the meaning of a text does not reside in the text”)

In this article I chose the French way, Barthes’ interpretation :

“An intertextual view of literature, as shown by Roland Barthes, supports the concept that the meaning of a text does not reside in the text, but is produced by the reader in relation not only to the text in question, but also the complex network of texts invoked in the reading process” (Wikipedia)

Barthes always attacked the notions of “stable meaning and unquestionable truth” : any text offers a plurality of meanings and is also weaved out of numerous already existing texts – Barthes probably hated being told to sit still!

Thus there are two types of readers :

  1. Consumers who read the work for stable meaning
  2. Readers who are productive in their reading

 

Worse (or better, depends on you) :

“It is language which speaks, not the author; to write is… to reach the point where only language acts, “performs”, and not “me””

plus :

“The author has the role of a compiler, or arranger, of pre-existent possibilities within the language system”.

 

OK, that’s enough. Here we are with a pattern which can be examined and played by bloggers :

  1. Do you write to say your say, do you aim stable meaning, or do you wish your readers to be the second kind, the “producers”, who will take your ideas/tools and use them THEIR way?
  2. Of COURSE you stole all your articles from others : books, magazines, articles, conversations. What did you do with this material? You simplified? You combined? You linked? You melted? What are the engines you use in your writer’s brain?
  3. “It is language which speaks, not the author”, what does that mean? How (and why) would you try to reach that curious and magic state? Where’s the balance between your logic and your flow?
  4. Do you draw maps? What stays opened in your articles? Do you “close” all of them at the end? Do you offer fishes, or ways of fishing?

 

“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.”
Anton Chekhov

 

Thanks for reading!

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