auctor - Latin - (literally, one who gives increase). Hence (1) an originator , causer, doer; founder of a family; architect of a building; author of a book; originator of or leader in an enterprise; source of or warrant for a piece of information. (2) a backer, supporter, approver, surety.
lector - Latin - a reader. Most often one who reads lectures (teachings) to illiterates.
Pierre Bourdieu, the french sociologist, introduced this comparative device to illustrate two distinct modes of communication and of reading (or listening).
He uses Max Weber's term 'extraordinary communication' to describe the situation he often finds himself in as a celebrated lecturer. He likens his situation to that of the ancient Sophists where they (and he) were called upon to come and deliver intellectual spectacles - philosophical rockshows, as it were.
The difference between the auctor and lector modes of communication is that the auctor is expected to produce something profound, something prophetic. This places a tremendous burden on the auctor to impart precise and concisely digestible wisdom that will ignite the passions of the listeners to originate new readings (new understandings) of the situation under discussion.
The auctor is the one who delivers the sales pitch, he/she invariably ends up being the one in the shiny pants and tie.
But the auctor does have an escape mechanism - since the auctor's presence is not expected to last, it gives him or her the freedom to produce a visionary statement without being burdened with interpreting it. That remains up to the lector mode of communication.
The lector mode does not require the physical presence of the auctor ( prophet / revolutionary ) - one can simply read (or have read to you) the writings of the auctor. But the burden is on the lector mode to be consistent and to be able to give sound interpretations of the auctor's visionary statements.
According to Bourdieu the mode of communication also affects the mode of reading (the way in which the message is received and interpreted). A message delivered by an auctor is more likely to be read in simpler terms and to be either rejected outright as quackery or embraced wholeheartedly.
These modes of communication are evident in daily life - here are some examples of auctor/lector relationships:
The relationship between these two modes is not necessarily one of dominance of the auctor over the lector (did Hitler really create the Third Reich or was he merely the town crier for Goebbels?) - both roles require the other for efficient communication of their shared message.
Nor are these the only two modes of communication, but for the purposes of this node they provide a comprehensive view of how instructive communications (teaching) occurs.