Plagiarism In Pennycook's The Death Of The Author

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When Pennycook analyzed the issue of plagiarism in his essay, Borrowing Others’ Words: Text, Ownership, Memory, and Plagiarism, he introduced the essence of language learning and the evolution of the notion of author in a more detailed way, which provides a different angle to interpret Roland Barthes’s The Death of the Author. Barthes describes writing in the beginning of his essay as a “composite, oblique space where our subject slip away” (142). Pennycook’s passages can give a lucid explanation of Barthes’s word choice of “composite”. Pennycook believed that, according to Western traditions, literary originality came into being alongside a “wholesale borrowing of language and ideas” (212). Writing, as a part of language learning, needs…show more content…
Barthes followed Proust’s ideology and pointed out that author “made of his very life a work for which his own book was the model” (144). It seems absurd when Barthes put forward that historical person was just a fragment deprived from a frictional figure. Pennycook, by discussing “doing language” in his essay, pointed out a similar relationship between the language and reality that “it is language that shapes reality and not reality that shapes language” (222). As Pennycook mentioned, “the issue is not one of understanding of the world and then mapping language onto it but rather of acquiring language as texts as a precursor to mapping out textual realities” (222). He continued to argue that these speculations depended on how language and text may be understood (Pennycook 222). Bathes proposed a perspective that centered on readers (148). Readers, who are considered as someone “without history, biography, psychology” by Barthes, can take in all the quotations that compose a writing. From a reader’s perspective to analyze language shaping reality, all the information that readers can get are all from the language, either the depict of frictional figure or the historical person’s autobiography. When readers have no background knowledge of what they are reading, they cannot distinguish whether this character is frictional or non-frictional. The detailed narrative of frictional figure may seem like a prototype of the fragmented description of historical person. Then Barthes’s narration become sensible, “Montesquiou - in his anecdotal, historical reality is no more than a secondary fragment, derived from Charlus”. Consequently, language shaping reality becomes

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