Wednesday, 9 March 2011

S/Z XI The Five Codes & XII The Weaving of Voices

Barthes emphasizes five codes/voices in sections X-XII (p16-22) of S/Z;
• Hermeneutic - Enigma - The Voice of Truth
• Semantic - Signifier - The Voice of the Person
• Symbolic - Antithesis - The Voice of Symbol
• Proairetic - Action - The Voice of Empirics
• Cultural - (codes) Reference/Knowledge - The Voice of Science

These codes/voices are not the limit of codes/voices that could exist or be analyzed but are rather the ones that his re-reading of Sarrasine requires or calls-forth.

Together these codes/voices "create a kind of network, a topos through which the entire text passes" on its way to becoming a text. They do not structure the text and nor are they "a paradigm that must be reconstituted" rather they "a perspective of quotations" that refer to the process of reading and re-reading the text. We must use them as a starting point for our own explorations of the text and our own discovery of other codes/voices rather than as an end.


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