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Tiphaine Samoyault, Jonathan Culler, Andrew Brown: Barthes (2017, Polity Press)

584 pages

English language

Published Aug. 10, 2017 by Polity Press.

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Roland Barthes (1915-80) was a central contributor to the thought of his time, but he was also something of an outsider. His father died in the First World War, he enjoyed his mother's unfailing love, he spent long years in the sanatorium, and he was aware of his homosexuality from an early age: all this quickly gave him a sense of his own difference. He experienced the great events of contemporary history from a distance. Nevertheless, Barthes's life was caught up in the violent intense sweep of the twentieth century, a century that he helped to make intelligible. This major new biography, based on unpublished material never before explored (archives, journals and notebooks), sheds new light on Barthes's intellectual positions, his political commitments and his ideas, beliefs and desires. It details the many themes he discussed, the authors he defended, the myths he analysed, the polemics that made him famous …

4 editions


  • Barthes, roland, 1915-1980
  • Critics
  • France, biography
  • Linguists