[-empyre-] Reply to Anna's questions...

Anna Munster a.munster at unsw.edu.au
Thu Oct 22 15:17:18 EST 2009

Hi Patrick, Thanks for a very thoughtful reply. One issue that I  
wanted to raise in relation to the Barthes text I quoted was not so  
much about whether he should be there genealogically or not but rather  
what we might have forgotten about him. So, in the below quote what I  
think is also important but tends to get overlooked when we make him  
the precedent for the open 'e-text' (in the prosumer context at any  
rate), is the sense of temporality embedded in his ideas.
> 'the goal of literary work (of literature as a work) is to make the  
> reader no longer a consumer but a producer of the text' S/Z, 1994p.4)

For me, in Barthes, the text is open because it is open to a futurity  
of readership as well, to possible ongoing but future-dated productive  
readings as well. There is not so much a collapse of author-audience  
functions as a displacement at work. Whereas, as Kazys has also  
written about in his chapter, the networked author/producer/reader/ 
consumer network can very much be about collapsing this deferred-to- 
the-future of reading-writing in a frenzy of immediacy/nowness. That's  
an over-generalisation of course and there are many careful and  
beautiful instances of networked writing-reading that re-insert  
deferrals and lags...but I get a bit tetchy when Barthes gets lined up  
with the 'open work' when the open work is now conceived in 'prosumer'  

I was wondering whether your use of 'vector', then might not just bear  
a sense of direction (which way the flow and for what reasons -  
access, permissions and what form etc) but also a temporal dimension?


A/Prof. Anna Munster
Director of Postgraduate Research (Acting)
Deputy Director Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics
School of Art History and Art Education
College of Fine Arts
P.O. Box 259
NSW 2021
612 9385 0741 (tel)
612 9385 0615(fax)
a.munster at unsw.edu.au

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