The death and return of the author : criticism and subjectivity in Barthes, Foucault and Derrida.This paper inquires into the ethical potential of photography. To what extent and how can photographs evoke an affective response in viewers? Photographs are particularly powerful at evoking an affective response that unconsciously recalls this primal experience because of certain qualities inherent to the photographic medium. Inscribed in the land and in photographs, as well as in the human body, are traces of the past. Photographs bring this past to the present by evoking an affective response that recalls the original separation from the m other, thereby reminding us of our constant striving—and failure—to reconnect with our mother and, through that, with others in our present. It is this shared experience of the failure to share experience that can ultimately connect us with each other and form the basis for empathy.
Return of the Author
Edinburgh Research Archive
Barthes' essay argues against traditional literary criticism 's practice of incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in an interpretation of a text, and instead argues that writing and creator are unrelated. The title is a pun on Le Morte d'Arthur , a 15th-century compilation of smaller Arthurian legend stories, written by Sir Thomas Malory. The essay's first English -language publication was in the American journal Aspen , no. In his essay, Barthes argues against the method of reading and criticism that relies on aspects of the author's identity—to distill meaning from the author's work. In this type of criticism against which he argues, the experiences and biases of the author serve as a definitive "explanation" of the text.
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