Death of the Author and Parenthood

Do you remember your childhood, your first words ‘Dada’ and ‘Mama’? (The Dada obviously does not to the artist of obscurity). When I was a young boy [cough] my mother and father taught me a language through a series of signs (*/\-/\), signifieds and signifiers. That’s a lamb by the way.

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Do you remember your childhood, your first words ‘Dada’ and ‘Mama’?  (The Dada obviously does not to the artist of obscurity).  When I was a young boy [cough] my mother and father taught me a language through a series of signs (*/\-/\), signifieds and signifiers.  That’s a lamb by the way.  I thought it was pretty obvious, and besides I refer to a previous essay of mine on the deconstruction of structuralism).

De Saussure purports to bring us back to our beginning when we were born, teach us now what we know for granted, through a scientific approach to language through quadratic equations and overcomplicated signs, signifieds and signifiers.  He tells us to study langue (language as a system of words) and not parole (speech).  What he wants to be is Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, that is to spin, draw the lots and cut the thread all at the same time.  He could be cutting it as he’s weaving the thread, or, spinning before weaving and then cutting; or any permutation you come up with, he’s cutting the thread somewhere. 

Taking this into account, I will have to teach my little lambs of children not to listen to Daddy’s parole, as mistakes could be made and look at the écriture and study all the words of the English language at the one time.  I have thought of giving them the dictionary, except, it doesn’t really contain the syntax of all the words, so the best way of doing it is plonking Ulysses, The Works of All Theorists as well as the OED in front of them on the day of their birth while their cute toothless smiling faces look up at me wanting to be loved, and all I do is parle ‘read that’ to them. 

I shall congratulate my little lambs by saying; ‘Well done, now you understand the hegemonistic hermeneutics of the algebraic quadralatic equations of “langage”.’

I shall expect them, when they are five days old, still cute and toothless, but now their brow furrows and so they reply to me in their cute voices; ‘Don’t patronize me father.  I would like to read “War and Peace” now to deconstruct it in a Freudian, Marxist, Structuralist method, and I should wonder to myself, why couldn’t Tolstoy come up with an original idea!  If Great Uncle Barthes and Uncle Foucault are correct in their observationalisms of the pastiching author; that is if the author existed at all.  It’s a bit of a no-brainer really; the author lacks originality and has no thoughts of his/her own.  Thinking about it, the author is entirely stupid.  Uncle Oscar is correct; criticism is the only true form of written art.  Do you hear me father?  Why couldn’t you be a binman and not the thoughtless sheep that is the author?  You’re stupid!  Do you hear me, you’re stupid!’

Of course, this might spoil the parent/child relationship and my children’s cuteness will be called into question as I Brechtianize myself from my own children.  So I would have to say; ‘Here’s your damn book.  Take it and read it and leave me alone.  By the way, it’s Anti-Barthes and Foucault and especially Anti-Ferdinand.’

‘You should be thankful to Uncles Ferdinand, Roland and Michel. They are the true granddaddies of literature.  They helped make you where you are today, you ought to clap them.’

I would then deliberately in a De Saussurean way mishear and say; ‘I hope they got the clap.’

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