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Michel Foucault. "What Is an Author?"

Samira Nekooeeyan

 

In
What
is
an
Author, Michel
Foucault
talks about
the
relationship
between
author
and
text.
He
focuses
on
the
manner
in
which
the
text
points
to
the
author.
 He tries to identify the author in terms of how an author exists. The attention is not on historically or socially based definition.  Foucault accepts that the author is dead and the text begins to appear more as a "game" of language. Foucault goes to questions like: “What constitutes an author's work?”, “What should be excluded or included” and “at what point does a person begin to function as an author?”

Foucault
introduces
two
rules.
First:
that
the
writing
has
freed
itself
from
the
breadth
of
expression
because
it
only
refers
to
itself.
He uses
the
game‐metaphor
to
explain
this
idea:
”Writing
unfolds
in
the
same
manner, in
which
a
game
unfolds, 
by
braking
through
its
own
set
of
rules
by
disappearing
while
creating
space
through
writing.”

The second
rule is
a
relationship
between
the
writer
and
death.
he says the
idea
of perpetuating
or
postponing
death
in
the
case
of
the
Greek
epic
and
the
Arabian
tales
were
metaphosed
by
the
Western
society.

That the writer
sacrifices
his
existence.

Foucault questions: “What
is
the
idea
of
work, 
or
what
elements
a
work
is
composed
of
are
key
questions
that
are
difficult
to
determine” n
he
tries
to
establish
a
rule
that
would
meet
the
requirements
of
a
work.
Taking
into
consideration
all
written
forms,
then,
it
is
difficult
to
determine
whether
writings
such
as
drafts,
addresses,
etc.
are
works.



Then Foucault
points
out
that
the
author’s
proper
name
equals
a
description. He says 
that potential
readers
of
a
text
find
themselves
biased
towards
a
literary
work
when
reading
the
author’s
name
on
the
cover.



   + سمیرا نکوئیان Samira Nekooeeyan ; ٢:٠۱ ‎ب.ظ ; ۱۳٩٢/۱٢/٢۳
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Roland Barthes, “The death of the author”

 

In “The Death of the Author” Barthes talks about the power the writer has on the process of reading. How reader can be affected by the writer and analyzes the text. He thinks the text’s background should be ignored and the attention should be on the text itself. He thinks: “The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author.”  Which to some extant I agree.  The reader should keep a distance from writer to read and understand the text independently and without any bias.

He then argues that the text is derivate from other works due to the “innumerable centers of culture”. He thinks the author is merely a way through which a story is told.  They don’t create a story but they just simply retell stories that have been told before. We can say there are no original thought. They are all a combination of old thoughts.

Then Barthes argues that if everyone read the text and understand it through the lenses of the writer, then they would gain no benefit from the text. Reading the text associated with the writer, makes the process of reading limited. It means instead of finding the meaning of the text according to their own lives, experiences and feelings, they would try to understand what the writer meant.

 Barthes claims that it is the status of the reader that should be elevated, not the status of the Author. If the reader gains something from the text it’s not that the writer is intelligent, but it’s the insightful interpretation of the reader. He says since people have unique and different experiences, so there are so many ways of interpreting a single text.

For the independent thinking of readers and the growth of their skills of interpretation the death of the Author is necessary, in most cases but not all. in some cases the presence of the Author is needed for the reader to achieve a greater understanding of what is being read.

When Barthes says “the birth of the reader must come at the cost of the death of the Author,” it seems that he is not that realistic that he should be. If the only important thing is the interpretation of the reader, then he is right. Writer has no power then.  But really is it possible to say that the author should completely be death?

   + سمیرا نکوئیان Samira Nekooeeyan ; ۱٢:٤٤ ‎ب.ظ ; ۱۳٩٢/۱٢/٢۳
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فاتح

اسکندر به ایران حمله کرد
نادر فاتح هند شد
عرب‌ها دمار از روزگار ما درآوردند
کورش بابِل را گرفت
آرامش قشنگم!
من فقط تو را دارم
می‌خواهم
تمام شهرهای دنیا را
یکی پس از دیگری
در آغوش تو فتح کنم
عاشقانه
بی جنگ و خونریزی
می‌خواهم
صبحش در کافه
یک لقمه نان
یک جرعه چای
با نگاهم مزه مزه‌ات کنم باز
بعد
دستم را بگیر
فاتحانه شهر را از پا درآوریم
با لبخند
به نگاه شهروندان سر تکان دهیم
و با آنها عکس یادگاری بگیریم.

عباس معروفی

   + سمیرا نکوئیان Samira Nekooeeyan ; ۱٠:٢٧ ‎ب.ظ ; ۱۳٩٢/۱٢/۱٧
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