Barthes On Language: Connotation(S/Z 8-9)

"What is a connotation?"
"Definitionally, it is a determination, a relation, an anaphora, a feature which has the power to relate itself to anterior, ulterior, or exterior mentions, to other sites of the text (or of another text): we must in no way restrain this relating. . ."
"Topically, connotations are meanings which are neither in the dictionary nor in the grammar of the language in which a text is written. . ."
"Analytically, connotation is determined by two spaces: a sequential space, a series of orders, a space subject to the successivity of sentences, in which meaning proliferates by layering; and an agglomerative space, certain areas of the text correlating other meanings ourside the material text and, with them, forming "nebulae" of signifieds."
"Topologically, connotation makes possible a (limited) dissemination of meanings. . . "
"Semiologically, each connotation is the starting point of a code. . . "
"Dynamically, it is a subjugation which the text must undergo. . . (meaning is a force)."
"Historically, by inducing meanings that are apparently recoverable, connotation establishes a Literature of the Signified."
"Functionally, connotation, releasing the double meaning on principle, corrupts the purity of communication. . .in short, [it is] a countercommunication."

The conceptual content that the word expresses is plural by nature. Thus, meaning cannot be stagnated by the word. This move marks the most violent attack on Saussurian structualism and the beginning of Barthes' major contribution to critical theory. He astutely observes that connotation explodes the word into kaleidoscopic shards of differentiated meanings, leaving it open to interpretation in numerous capacities. In writing, the work of the word is never unidirectional--it does not approach any single destination, like an arrow soaring toward its target. The word radiates, as it were; it disperses itself in all directions and simultaneously intersects with other words at multiple points. Hypertext thrives on the play of connotations. It disavows its potential to direct reading, unlike classic texts, and plainly gives over the power of interpretation to the reader.

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