Friday, September 2, 2011

Be A Writer, Not A Reader

I've recently read Roland Barthes' S/Z & I thought that I would convey an important & metamorphic thought from the essay. One should absorb text as a writer, not a reader (text including writings, artwork, movies, music, etc.) To view text as a reader would include being passive & interpreting the text in only the author's vision. Viewing text that way creates a one-sided conversation, with the author acting as an authoritarian figure (see what I did there.) You often see authors or directors talking about their purpose & vision for their text, which I think is good to have a thesis for your text, but their vision may not be relevant for everyone, since we're all individuals. Also, an author has to realize that when their text leaves their head & becomes part of public display, it is not their text anymore. It becomes part of the cultural language.

So, a better mindset is to view text as a writer would view text. Use your background to create your own interpretation. You may have thought of some deep meaning in a little part of the text that the author didn't think of. Actually, the writers of Lost would go on the fan sites & look at the speculations & plot devices that fans created & the writers would use them in subsequent episodes. So create a dialogue & don't get upset if no one agrees with you. There is no "truth" out there. Just be "honest" in your opinions.

And that is my short essay of S/Z. Thank you.

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