Open text

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For the company, see Open Text Corporation.

In semiotic analysis, an open text is a text that allows multiple or mediated interpretation by the readers. In contrast, a closed text leads the reader to one intended interpretation.

The concept of the open text comes from Umberto Eco's collection of essays The Role of the Reader,[1] but it is also derivative of Roland Barthes's distinction between 'readerly' (lisible) and 'writerly' (scriptible) texts as set out in his 1968 essay, The Death of the Author.[2]


  1. ^ Eco, U., 1984,The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20318-X
  2. ^ Barthes, R., 1977, 'The Death of the Author' in Image-Music-Text, Fontana

See also[edit]