Plagiarism In Roland Barthes's The Death Of The Author

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When Pennycook analyzed the issue of plagiarism in his essay, Borrowing Others’ Words: Text, Ownership, Memory, and Plagiarism, he introduced the essence of language learning and the evolution of the notion of author in a detailed way, which provides a different angle to interpret Roland Barthes’s The Death of the Author. Barthes describes writing in the beginning of his essay as a “composite, oblique space where our subject slip away” (142). Despite that Pennycook focused on the historical background of plagiarism, he gave a lucid explanation of Barthes’s word choice of “composite”. According to Western traditions, as he argued, literary originality came into being alongside a “wholesale borrowing of language and ideas” (212). Writing, as a part of language learning, needs a collection of language and ideas correspondingly. Notwithstanding Barthes’s aim of testifying the demise of authorship, he also pointed out that “the text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture” (146). Here, Barthes and Pennycook reach to an agreement that writing is a compound consisted of borrowed ideas and words rather than an invention created by its author solely.
What’s more, both Pennycook and Barthes discussed about people’s subjectivity of writing, whose interpretations can be applied to promote understandings of each other. Pennycook wrote a philosophical and difficult sentence in his essay that “we are not speaking subjects but spoken subjects, we do not
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