Dialectics of the Author-Reader Relationship: Criticizing the Revolutionary Tradition of Stereotypical Propaganda Writing Through Reaffirmation of Authorial Intentionalism


Propaganda is one of the most apparent avenues of ideological struggle. Amidst the battlefield in the social consciousness, the purpose of this study is to forward revolutionary ideology through intensification of revolutionary propaganda, specifically the pamphlet. It is a crucial step for revolutionaries in the aim to forward their methods of propaganda writing to overcome the illness of stereotypical propaganda writing as described by Mao Zedong. Stereotypical propaganda writing in the practice of progressive propaganda leads to a genesis of a manufactured language characterized by the alienation of the masses from the language of revolutionaries and the alienation of revolutionary-propagandists from the practical experience of the masses. To overcome stereotypical propaganda writing, revolutionary propagandists must have a semiotic framework and a dialectical-materialist understanding of their relationship as Author-propagandists with the Reader-masses. By incorporating modest authorial-intentionalism from E.D. Hirsch and the Model-Reader theory of Umberto Eco into textual relationships, the role and the purpose of the sign as a medium in communicating ideologies can be established. In the process, it poses an alternative against the prevalent post-structuralist view of semantic autonomy and reader-response theory in the field of literary criticism. This paper also uses V.N. Voloshinov’s linguistic theory as the framework for semantico-pragmatic linguistic relations and social intercourse as the material base of the sign.

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