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readerly


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An English rendering of Barthes' use of the word lisible (literally ‘legible’), a term he applied to realist texts that he saw as undemanding of the reader, employing familiar conventions or codes and thus ‘closed’ rather than open to diverse interpretations (see also broadcast codes; classic realist texts; closed forms; narrative closure), in contrast with those which are writerly. However, as Barthes' own analysis of Balzac's story Sarrasine shows, rather than being an inherent quality of a particular text, it depends at least partly on the way in which it is read. Compare open and closed texts.


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