Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Because it can always be written anew

The Pleasure of the Text From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Pleasure of the Text is a short book published in 1973 by Roland Barthes. In the book, Barthes divides the effects of texts into two: pleasure and bliss.
  • The pleasure of the text corresponds to the readerly text, which does not challenge the reader's subject position.
  • The blissful text provides Jouissance (bliss, orgasm, explosion of codes) which allows the reader to break out of his/her subject position. This type of text corresponds to the "writerly" text.

The "readerly" and the "writerly" texts are identified and explained in Barthes's S/Z: An Essay (ISBN 0-374-52167-0). Barthes feels that "writerly" is much more important than "readerly" because he sees the text's unity as forever being re-established by its composition, the codes that form and constantly slide around within the text. It is thus that one may passively read, but actively write, even in a fashion that is a re-enactment of the writer himself.

The different levels of codes (hermeneutic, action, symbolic, semic, and historical) inform and reinforce one another, making for an open text that is indeterminant precisely because it can always be written anew. As such, although one may experience pleasure in the readerly text, it is when one sees the text from the writerly point of view that the experience is blissful.

No comments:

Post a Comment