Out of Lurking

Roland Barthes towards the end of Criticism and Truth in the last section (“Reading”) translated by Katrine Pilcher Keuneman gives an account of four functions in the Medieval transmission of verbal artefacts:

scriptor: who copies without adding anything

compilator: who adds nothing of their own

commentator: who makes a personal contribution to the copied text only to render it intelligible

auctor: who gives their own ideas, always justifying their views with reference to other authorities

These four functions I recognize in the writerly and readerly activity across contemporary social media: I salute those who fulfill scriptor, compilator, commentator, auctor and lurker roles.

For though Barthes doesn’t mention the reader-who-is-silent there is room in this taxonomy for their contribution to the writing-that-is-to-come.

And so for day 2857
08.10.2014

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