The essays in this volume were written during the years that its author's first four books were published in France. They chart the course of Barthe's criticism from the vocabularies of existentialism and Marxism (reflections on the social situation of literature and writer's responsibility before History) to a psychoanalysis of substances (after Bachelard) and a psychoanalytical anthropology (which evidently brought Barthes to his present terms of understanding with Levi-Strauss and Lacan).
Translator's Note Preface The World as Object Objective Literature Baudelaire's Theater Mother Courage Blind The Brechtian Revolution The Diseases of Costume Literal Literature Putting on the Greeks Whose Theater? Whose Avant-Garde? The Tasks of Brechtian Criticism "Will Burns Us . . ." The Last Happy Writer There Is No Robbe-Grillet School Literature and Metalanguage Tacitus and the Funerary Baroque La Sorcière Zazie and Literature Workers and Pastors Kafka's Answer On Brecht's Mother Authors and Writers Literature Today Taking Sides Literature and Discontinuity Structure of the Fait-Divers The Last Word on Robbe-Grillet? The Imagination of the Sign The Structuralist Activity La Bruyère The Metaphor of the Eye The Two Criticisms What Is Criticism? Literature and Signification
ROLAND BARTHES (1915–1980), one of the most celebrated French intellectuals to have emerged since Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote on a variety of topics including semiology, literature, fashion, and photography. His works include Writing Degree Zero, S/Z, The Pleasure of the Text, Mythologies, A Lover's Discourse, and the autobiographical Roland Barthes.
RICHARD HOWARD won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Untitled Subjects. A noted critic, he has also translated works by many prominent French authors, including Andre Gide, Claude Simon, Michel Leiris, and Marguerite Yourcenar.
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