Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"

I. the traditional role and position of the Author

A."Human person"-- author 
¡§From the Middle Age with English empiricism, French rationalism and the personal faith of the Reformation,"¨ the individual is always the center as the "human person."¨In literature, the human person logically refers to the person of the author, and is taken as the most important role.The person of the author exists in histories of literature, biographies of writers, interviews and magazines.
B.The connection between the author and the work 
The image of literature is centered on the author's personal life rather than the 
text or work itself.For instance, "Baudelair's work is the failure of Baudelaire 
the man."  We always try to find out or perceive the relationship and 
connection between the content of a text with the author's personal life.Thisis what Barthes disagrees.
II. The awareness of writing
A. Mallarme in France 
In France¡XMallarme is the first one who foresees the necessity of language itself.For Mallarme, it is language which speaks, not the author.Moreover, to write is to reach the point that language "performs," not  "me."
B. Surrealism 
Barthes mentions the contribution of surrealism in the prehistory of modernity.It questions the position of the author by giving the right to the hand with the task of writing as quickly as possible that the head itself is unaware of, and by "accepting the principle and the experience of several people writing together."
C. In the field of linguistics 
In the field of linguistics¡Xthe author is the same as the letter "I" means a subject.
The author is nothing more than a writing sentence.
III. The exchange of positions¡Xauthor and writing
A. The relation between the Author and writing
1. Roland Barthes indicates that the relationship between the author and the book can be divided into a before and an after.The author is who exists before the book, thinks, suffers, lives for it.In other words, the author is always considered as a father to his child.
2. Barthes considers that now the "modern scriptor"  is born with the text at the 
same time.That means: every text is "written here and now" rather than after
the author's thought. 
B. Barthes'¦ ideas on a text and on an author 
1.In the past, writing is considered as inferior to sound, because it is too slow to catch up one's thought and passion.However, the "modern scriptor" no longer considers that writing is inferior to sound or voice as what his predecessors do before.For the "modern scriptor,"¨ on the contrary, the hand is cut off from anyvoice.
2.For Barthes, "the text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture." No matter how comic, sublime or ridiculous it is, that is precisely the truth of writing.
3.Furthermore, Barthes considers that writer can only imitate what is anterior, never original.The writer's power is only to mix the writings altogether, not an origin. 
IV. The individuality of writing 

A. No author beneath the text
After the author is removed, there is no necessity to decode a text.Barthes
thinks that if the author is found beneath the text, the text is "explained," just as 
the author is considered as a critic historically.
B. Liberation and multiplicity of writing
But now in the multiplicity of writing, everything is liberated, nothing is decoded.
Moreover, the multiplicity of writing has an ultimate meaning.It may liberate 
what is called an anti-theological activity.It is "an activity that is truly 
revolutionary since to refuse to fix meaning is, in the end, to refuse God and his 
hypostases¡Xreason, science, law."
V. The death of the Author

A. Emphasis on the listener or reader rather than the Author
1.Barthes uses the relationship between the listener or the reader and the text as an example to emphasize the death of the author.

2.Barthes indicates that it is the listener or the reader who understand each written words.These writings are drawn from different cultures and then become relations of dialogues and parody in literature.There is only one place for the multiplicity of writing; that is the reader, not the author.

B. Emphasis on the destination, not origin¡X
1.Barthes emphasizes that "a text's unity lies not in its origin but in its 
destination.¡¨Therefore, it is the reader to give a future for a text, because it is 
the reader who consume the text.
2.Barthes emphasizes that the reader is without history, biography and
psychology, and the reader can overthrow the role of the author.