Essay on Critique Of "death Of The Author"

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Critique of "Death of the Author"

     The title to the story "The Death of an Author," by Roland Barthes, suggests this story may be a fictional novel about the story of an author's death. Perhaps one might pick it up, and skim the foreword in hopes that beneath the cover of this book there would be a mystery, a story of detectives, eye- witnesses, clues, and a puzzle for the reader to solve. Before I read this story, the title "The Death of an Author" brought to my imagination the biography of a writer slowly drinking himself to death trying to finish the story of his life, but the author would be stuck and depressed because his life is not a story as it is boring and repetitive.
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I came to this conclusion after reading
"The Death of an Author" for the fourth or fifth time. I began to wonder why does this man write this way? What caused him to have so much distrust toward the critics? Those are the thoughts he was trying to persuade us not to think.
Barthes wanted the author of the story to be no more than a name printed on the top or front of a book. Throughout the story "The Death of an Author," Barthes refers to the author as a scriptor in stating "Succeeding the Author, the scriptor no longer bears within him passions, humors, feelings, impressions but rather this immense dictionary from which he draws a writing that can know no halt." Barthes announces that a scriptor is superior to an author but they are the same. Now if a scriptor is superior to an author this passage drags on and on, never circulating around a single point. A scriptor does not try to make art of the two-hundred and fifty-five symbols placed in front of him. A scriptor arranges the symbols in an order that once decoded can be read back and can convey whatever message the scriptor recorded. Barthes reveals his knowledge of this in writing, "Once the author is removed, the claim to decipher a text becomes quite futile. To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing."
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