Roland Barthes, from S/Z

VII. The Starred Text

[The text under study, Balzac's short story "Sarrasine,"] will be cut up into a series of brief, contiguous fragments, which we shall call lexias, since they are units of reading. This cutting up will be arbitrary in the extreme . . . . The lexia will include sometimes a few words, sometimes several sentences; it will be a matter of convenience: it will suffice that the lexia be the best possible space in which we can observe meanings . . . . (13)

For Barthes, any text is made up of five codes:

  1. Code of Actions (cause and effect; logic of human behavior; proairesis ("the ability to rationally determine the result of an action," 18) -- abbreviated: ACT
  2. Hermeneutic Code (the Voice of Truth): "to delay the truth is to constitute it," 262): elements -- enigma, lure [= the promise of getting an answer], equivocation, double-understanding, donfusion, false proofes, falsehood, snare, disclosure. "Let us designate as hermeneutic code (HER) all the units whose function it is to articulate in various ways a question, its response, and the variety of chance events which can either formulate the question or delay its answer; or even constitute an enigma and lead to its solution" (17).
  3. Cultural or Referential Code, Voice of Science -- what one should know about the world; not-knowing some of this code causes characters' demise. REF
  4. Semes or Connotative Signifieds ("indices" = indicators in Barthes's "The Structure of Narrative"), Voice of the Person: "The seme is a connotator of persons, places, objects, of which the signified is character. Character is an adjective, an attribute, a predicate (for example: unnatural, shadowy, star, composite, excessive, impious, etc.) . . . . [T]he person is no more than a collection of semes . . ." (190-191). SEM
  5. Symbolic Field SYM

    LXXX. Denouement (unraveling) and Disclosure

    [T]ruth is the predicate at last discovered, the subject at last provided with its complement [fulfillment]; since the character, if we grasped it merely on the level of the story's development . . . would always appear incomplete, . . .a subject wandering in search of its predicate: nothing is shown during this wandering but snares, mistakes: the enigma is this predicative lack; disclosing, the discourse comletes the logical formula and it is this recovered plenitude which affords the denouement [unwinding, winding down] of the dram: the subject must ultimately be supplied with (own) an attribute . . . This temporary wandering of the predicate can be described in terms of a game. The dramatic narrative is a game with two players: the snare and the truth. At first a tremendous indetermination rules their encounters, the wandering is wide of the mark; gradually, however, the two networks move closer together, co-penetrate, determination is completed and with it the subject; discluoser is then the final stroke by which the initial 'probable' shifts ot the 'necessary': the game is ended, the drama has its denouement, the subject correctly "predicated" (fixed): the discourse can fall silent.