Em ơi!#330: Of Writerly Texts

Lit crit jokes!  Awesome!I was going to color this a little more, but then I couldn’t find my markers and I got caught up in some little crises (related to the drafts of two papers which were/are due this past week), and I decided to just go with it.

In case you were curious, this is what Barthes says about writerly texts:

There may be nothing to say about writerly texts.  First of all, where can we find them?  Certainly not in reading…: the writerly text is not a thing, we would have a hard time finding it in a bookstore.  Further, its model being a productive (and no longer a representative) one, it demolishes any criticism which, once produced, would mix with is: to rewrite the writerly text would consist only in disseminating it, in dispersing it within the field of infinite difference.  The writerly text is a perpetual present, upon which no consequent language…can be superimposed; the writerly text is ourselves writing, before the infinite play of the world (the world as function) is traversed, intersected, stopped, plasticized by some singular system…which reduces the plurality of entrances, the opening of networks, the infinity of languages.  The writerly is the novelistic without the novel…

(Barthes, Roland.  From S/Z: An Essay.  New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1974. 3-5.)  Very pretty, but kind of incomprehensible, huh?  When I asked, I was told that he meant “highbrow texts,” but I don’t think that’s right–hence my answer about “tweets.”  However if anyone has a good explanation I’m willing to listen.

This comic is filed under: PQ94 .L86 2010, for French literature–Literary history and criticism–Criticism–By period–20th century–Treatises.  Theory.  History.

Next week I’ll be funnier.

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