Sunday, August 07, 2005

Tinting the rose

In following through the writings of Bathes I spent some time with Wikipedia on Bathes.

The comment that caught my eye is this:

“In His 1968 essay "The Death of the Author," Barthes made a strong, polemical argument against the centrality of the figure of the author in literary study. (Michel Foucaults later article What is an Author? responded to Barthess polemic with an analysis of the social and literary "author-function.") In His 1971 essay "From Work to Text", Barthes takes this idea further, arguing that while a work (such as a book or a film) contains meanings that are unproblematically traceable back to the author (and therefore closed), a text (the same book or film) is actually something that remains open. The resulting concept of intertextuality implies that meaning is brought to a cultural object by its audience and does not intrinsically reside in the object. Barthes' book S/Z is often called the masterpiece of structuralist literary criticism. In S/Z, Barthes dissects the story "Sarrasine" by Honoré de Balzac at length, proceeding sentence by sentence, assigning each word and sentence to one or several "codes" and levels of meaning within the story. Barthes' cultural criticism, published in volumes including Mythologies, is one of the key antecedents for later cultural studies, the application of techniques of literary and social criticism to mass culture.”

Tracing through the links, one comes to a conclusion that there is a superficial similarity between the Relationship Value Model and the work of Bathes. The concept that in a work the audience (well... one member of an audience) will take a cultural object and interpret it with the values brought to it by the audience (person) is close to my hypothesis. But is not exactly the same, if one accepts that a cultural object is the same as a 'token' in the Relationship Value Model. My hypothesis makes much of the network and its ability to offer the means by which tokens and their values (the means of interpretation) can be exposed to the parties using the network. It then goes on to suggest that values attaching to the token, when commonly held (say, between and author and an audience), will create impetus for cognitive consistency and thereby a relationship.

There is interesting background stuff about cognitive science here