For Barthes, the printed text in a sense kills the author. For once his idea is recorded for posterity, he is rendered expendable. It carries the reader away from the presence of the author. Take the ideas of Alexander Pope for example. Without the written form, many of his ideas would likely have been lost as generations passed, his ideas became reinterpreted, reexplained, and reconfigured. But because of the wirten text, we are able to access and examine the work in its original form. But this is bad, Derrida would say. For he characterizes this binary opposition between absence and presence as the fundamental flaw in western culture. This kind of move towards a blurring of space and time through an imagined universality in literature, results in a reader who forgets. A reader who says to himself, "Oh well I own this book, so it I guess it isn't essential that remember this fact, or undersand this concept because it will always be right here at my fingertips." The reader also becomes reliant on the speaker in the work. His reading becomes a forgetting of sorts, he gets lulled to sleep by reoccuring and repetitive patterns and language that he himself has no say in, or control over. The end result is the championing of the Oral tradition, of some sort of presence, by western culture because that is all they can truly question or pay attention to with any kind of critical mind. But this is exaclty the strong point of the hypertext medium. For the line between character and author and reader becomes obscurted. The author is no longer the sole creator and generator of ideas. But shares this process willingly with the reader.
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