46 Facts About Roland Barthes


Roland Gerard Barthes was a French literary theorist, essayist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,679

Roland Barthes's work engaged in the analysis of a variety of sign systems, mainly derived from Western popular culture.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,680

Roland Barthes's ideas explored a diverse range of fields and influenced the development of many schools of theory, including structuralism, anthropology, literary theory, and post-structuralism.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,681

Roland Barthes is perhaps best known for his 1957 essay collection Mythologies, which contained reflections on popular culture, and 1967 essay "The Death of the Author, " which critiqued traditional approaches in literary criticism.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,682

When Roland Barthes was eleven, his family moved to Paris, though his attachment to his provincial roots would remain strong throughout his life.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,683

Roland Barthes showed great promise as a student and spent the period from 1935 to 1939 at the Sorbonne, where he earned a licence in classical literature.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,684

Roland Barthes was plagued by ill health throughout this period, suffering from tuberculosis, which often had to be treated in the isolation of sanatoria.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,685

Roland Barthes's repeated physical breakdowns disrupted his academic career, affecting his studies and his ability to take qualifying examinations.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,686

Roland Barthes received a diplome d'etudes superieures from the University of Paris in 1941 for his work in Greek tragedy.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,687

In 1952, Roland Barthes settled at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, where he studied lexicology and sociology.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,688

Roland Barthes spent the early 1960s exploring the fields of semiology and structuralism, chairing various faculty positions around France, and continuing to produce more full-length studies.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,689

Roland Barthes's unorthodox thinking led to a conflict with a well-known Sorbonne professor of literature, Raymond Picard, who attacked the French New Criticism for its obscurity and lack of respect towards France's literary roots.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,690

Roland Barthes traveled to the US and Japan, delivering a presentation at Johns Hopkins University.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,691

Roland Barthes continued to contribute with Philippe Sollers to the avant-garde literary magazine Tel Quel, which was developing similar kinds of theoretical inquiry to that pursued in Roland Barthes's writings.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,692

On 25 February 1980, Roland Barthes was knocked down by a laundry van while walking home through the streets of Paris.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,693

In Writing Degree Zero, Roland Barthes argues that conventions inform both language and style, rendering neither purely creative.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,694

In Michelet, a critical analysis of the French historian Jules Michelet, Roland Barthes developed these notions, applying them to a broader range of fields.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,695

Roland Barthes argued that Michelet's views of history and society are obviously flawed.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,696

Similarly, Roland Barthes felt that avant-garde writing should be praised for its maintenance of just such a distance between its audience and itself.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,697

In presenting an obvious artificiality rather than making claims to great subjective truths, Roland Barthes argued, avant-garde writers ensure that their audiences maintain an objective perspective.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,698

Roland Barthes found semiotics, the study of signs, useful in these interrogations.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,699

Roland Barthes developed a theory of signs to demonstrate this perceived deception.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,700

Roland Barthes suggested that the construction of myths results in two levels of signification: the "language-object", a first order linguistic system; and the "metalanguage", the second-order system transmitting the myth.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,701

Roland Barthes was able to use these distinctions to evaluate how certain key 'functions' work in forming characters.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,702

Such thought led Roland Barthes to consider the limitations not just of signs and symbols, but of Western culture's dependency on beliefs of constancy and ultimate standards.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,703

Roland Barthes travelled to Japan in 1966 where he wrote Empire of Signs, a meditation on Japanese culture's contentment in the absence of a search for a transcendental signifier.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,704

Roland Barthes saw the notion of the author, or authorial authority, in the criticism of literary text as the forced projection of an ultimate meaning of the text.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,705

Since Roland Barthes contends that there can be no originating anchor of meaning in the possible intentions of the author, he considers what other sources of meaning or significance can be found in literature.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,706

Roland Barthes concludes that since meaning can't come from the author, it must be actively created by the reader through a process of textual analysis.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,707

From this project Roland Barthes concludes that an ideal text is one that is reversible, or open to the greatest variety of independent interpretations and not restrictive in meaning.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,708

Roland Barthes describes this as the difference between the writerly text, in which the reader is active in a creative process, and a readerly text in which they are restricted to just reading.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,709

The project helped Roland Barthes identify what it was he sought in literature: an openness for interpretation.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,710

Roland Barthes called these two conflicting modes the Doxa and the Para-doxa.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,711

Roland Barthes felt his past works, like Mythologies, had suffered from this.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,712

Roland Barthes became interested in finding the best method for creating neutral writing, and he decided to try to create a novelistic form of rhetoric that would not seek to impose its meaning on the reader.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,713

When his mother, Henriette Roland Barthes, died in 1977 he began writing Camera Lucida as an attempt to explain the unique significance a picture of her as a child carried for him.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,714

Roland Barthes found the solution to this fine line of personal meaning in the form of his mother's picture.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,715

In February 2009, Editions du Seuil published Journal de deuil, based on Roland Barthes's files written from 26 November 1977 up to 15 September 1979, intimate notes on his terrible loss:.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,716

Roland Barthes's criticism contributed to the development of theoretical schools such as structuralism, semiotics, and post-structuralism.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,717

Readerly and writerly are terms Roland Barthes employs both to delineate one type of literature from another and to implicitly interrogate ways of reading, like positive or negative habits the modern reader brings into one's experience with the text itself.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,718

Author and scriptor are terms Roland Barthes uses to describe different ways of thinking about the creators of texts.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,719

In place of the author, the modern world presents us with a figure Roland Barthes calls the "scriptor, " whose only power is to combine pre-existing texts in new ways.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,720

Roland Barthes believes that all writing draws on previous texts, norms, and conventions, and that these are the things to which we must turn to understand a text.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,721

Roland Barthes argues that, in the absence of the idea of an "author-God" to control the meaning of a work, interpretive horizons are opened up considerably for the active reader.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,722

In 1964, Roland Barthes wrote "The Last Happy Writer", the title of which refers to Voltaire.

FactSnippet No. 1,105,723

Laurent Binet's novel The 7th Function of Language is based on the premise that Roland Barthes was not merely accidentally hit by a van but that he was instead murdered, as part of a conspiracy to acquire a document known as the "Seventh Function of Language".

FactSnippet No. 1,105,724