Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hypertext Blog Post

In the selection from S/Z we read, Barthes describes the way in which we read a text according to five voices in order to navigate the the lexia, or units of reading, of any given text in order to achieve a step-by-step, "gradual analysis of a single text" (12) which "avoids structuring the text excessively" (13). In this way, I understand Barthes to be generating a mechanism for analyzing the structure of any text, which should be universally applicable. Each voice is commensurate with a certain kind of code, the five of which Barthes gives us form the categories to which any textual signifier may belong.

I am interested in the way in which he uses the word "code here not in the sense of a list, a paradigm that must be reconstituted. The code is a perspective of quotations, a mirage of structures…the code is the wake of that already [-written]" (20). How can we understand this use of code? He goes on to describe the code as "one of the forces that can take over the text…, one of the voices out of which the text is woven" (21).

Are these codes structures? Probably not, as Barthes does not want to cement meaning in the same way that a code-as-rule/principle might. How then can we understand them? And how might a textual analysis be complicated when using Barthes' schema in relation to hypertext as foundational of the perceived textual object?

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