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.

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.’

Ken Wardrop Wins Director’s Finders Series Award

Ken Wardrop, from Portarlington, Co. Laois, is on his way to Hollywood this summer to showcase his first feature film, His and Hers, after winning the prestigious Director’s Finders Series award yesterday.

 The film will be show to a select audience of Hollywood filmmakers, distributors and producers.

The Sheepish Overview of Literary Theory

(Sheepish in both senses of the word)

The Langage Book Shop opens at 9:00 and sheep head straight to the Romantic Genre section. The lambs and sheep follow as they want to be in the world that the author created, but one of the sheep, de Saussure, shouts doing his best Gary Larson impression; ‘Wait, we don’t all have to be sheep! Wouldn’t it be interesting to find about the Genesis of this bookshop and these books?’ and wants us to regress back to our childhood/babyhood the day we learned about the birth of the word ‘bah’, why we say it, and its syntax. Although the French sheep may say ‘maah’ and that would have to be followed too, but let’s just look at the English sheep to try to avoid complications.

Even though the author was a shepherd, he must have been a sheep too! The author read enough books to make him want to be a shepherd, but as a sheep, he/she is too heavily influenced by predecessors; as the Barthes sheep now asks in ‘The Death of the Author’, ‘what bits of this book are original? (the signifiers) This isn’t true authorship. All of these books are signifiers.’ The Formalist sheep, Vladimir Propp, props up his head and says; ‘Barthes is right, I have read the whole folklore section and have noticed a specific topology in the beginning, middle and end’; as does Svetlan Todorov who has just read through the Detective Fiction section. Both of these sheep also notice the same type of characters appearing in each of the books they’ve read. (If this all makes sense, you’re doing very well, if not, I’m sounding like de Saussure, I couldn’t make sense of it either).

Foucault then states that there must be an history to the author, that it must be a function of discourse, he/she must have started somewhere and asks the questions; ‘what is a work? Is this not what the author has written? We need to find what the work is and where the author began. They, the authors, may have followed the syntaxes and topologies of previous stories; and so follows the genre after reading some early anonymous romantic novels and adds his/her own values/methodologies.’ (It is possible that the author merely wants to be the shepherd and guide his/her flock of readers into a story; possibly where the author also wants to be. Some people may use the parole of ‘a history’, but the correct syntax I believe is ‘an history’).

The author sheep follows the Proppian topography of the Romantic Genre to come up with their ‘bah’, who will hopefully influence other sheep to become authors. A new lineage could be created such as the Joycean realism; ‘Beahhhhhrrrrrr’ to the Russian Formalist ‘nonsense’ mad cow words of ‘Moo’ thanks to Jakobson, Shklovsky, Eichenbaum et al. With these last two examples, though a new language may be formed and the de Saussurean sheep would force us out of the door of the bookshop again back to our lambitudity. (That word will never catch on, if it does, I want all copyrights acknowledged so the next de Saussurean sheep won’t want to confuse us all yet again).

Finally, the Wilde sheep comes to the forefront through Gilbert and says;

Gilbert: History, schmistory. This type of literature isn’t even a true form of art, it constrains individual expression.
Ernest: Why so Gilbert?
Gilbert: All these authors copy one another. There is no true mystery about this type of literature. It isn’t a true art, as it doesn’t come from the heart. There’s only one true form of literature that does come from the heart, my dear fellow, that’s criticism. Criticism is more creative than creation. What you’ve read in this article isn’t it. To add my voice of criticism, the above wasn’t good at all, and that is from my heart.
Author: Bah humbug.

(That’s if he is a true author, as most of the above is copied badly or otherwise from other sources)

Rain, Rain Go Away

Philosophers state that you learn from your mistakes.  Charlie Brown stated that if you learn from your mistakes, that makes me the most perfect person in the world.  I can’t be too far behind Charlie Brown.

Last week (Tuesday, 19th May 2009) I walked in the rain without a rain jacket – both to and from work.  Obviously wet when I got home, ironically I had to have another shower.  The following day, I didn’t learn my lesson, I did it again.  This time, I did it with some variation. I did manage to wear a rain jacket, but it wasn’t strong enough to keep the rain off me as the rain seemed to seep through the zip.  To emphasize further that I wasn’t going to be dry, when I sought cover, I sought it under the perforation of tree branches out of some stupid habit I acquired.  Habitually, I had another shower when I got home.

On Thursday, 21st May 2009, I managed to avoid the rain completely, despite my walks.  I was quite pleased with my… err… ‘achievement’.  Although, in the evening I had to take the clothes in, and yes, I got wet again.  In ten bloody seconds I was drowned.  I guess water is in my blood.  Literally.