Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes (rôläN´ bärt), 1915–80, French critic. Barthes was one of the founding figures in the theoretical movement centered around the journal Tel Quel. In his earlier works, such as Writing Degree Zero (tr. 1953) and Mythologies (1957, tr. 1972), he argued that literature, like all forms of communication, is essentially a system of signs. As such, he argued that it encodes various ideologies or "myths," to be decoded in terms of its own organizing principles or internal structures. He was strongly influenced by the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, and his ideas, as expressed in works such as S/Z (1970, tr. 1974) and Empire of Signs (1970, tr. 1982), became more eclectic. Barthes has had an enormous influence on American literary theory.

See studies by J. Culler (1983), P. Lombardo (1989), and M. B. Wiseman (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Roland Barthes: Selected full-text books and articles

Roland Barthes By Graham Allen Routledge, 2003
Roland Barthes: Against Language By Michels, James ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, Vol. 52, No. 2, Summer 1995
Roland Barthes at the Collège de France By Lucy O'Meara Liverpool University Press, 2012
The Subject of Semiotics By Kaja Silverman Oxford University Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: "Roland Barthes" begins on p. 25
The Ghosts of Modernity By Jean-Michel Rebaté University Press of Florida, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Roland Barthes, Ghostwriter of Modernity"
Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader By David Lodge; Nigel Wood Pearson, 2000 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Roland Barthes"
Ideology and Art: Theories of Mass Culture from Walter Benjamin to Umberto Eco By Robin Ridless Peter Lang, 1984
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "Roland Barthes: The Unculture of Ideology"
Twentieth-Century Rhetorics and Rhetoricians: Critical Studies and Sources By Michael G. Moran; Michelle Ballif Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Roland Gerard Barthes (1915-1980)" begins on p. 23
The French Critic, 1549-1967 By Wallace Fowlie Southern Illinois University Press, 1968
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Structuralism: From Barthes to Levi-Strauss"
Rousseau's Legacy: Emergence and Eclipse of the Writer in France By Dennis Porter Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Cultural Twilight of Roland Barthes"
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