Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ronald Barthes's Definition of a Text as a Multi-dimensional Space

In his Death of the Author Ronald Barthes defines a text from post-structuralist point of view. Like the structuralists he does not believe that a text has a definite center and pre-defined logos.

According to Ronald Barthes a text is a multi-dimensional space. He contrasts an ordinary text with a theological text. The theological text has only single meaning. But unlike a theological text, a normal text can have a variety of meanings. For this reason Ronald Barthes calls a text as the multi- dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. He also compares text with a piece of cloth which is woven with quotations drawn from the innumerable centers of cultures. This remark is the central theme of post- structuralism. According to post-structuralism the meaning of a text is unstable or uncertain. Here, Ronald Barthes expounds this view. The meaning of a text depends on the readers not the authors. The readers will look from different perspectives and thus get different impressions about the text.