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Roland Barthes in 1968 Reviews

Roland Barthes in 1968 Reviews

Rabourdin, Caroline ORCID: 0000-0002-9694-0384 (2018) Roland Barthes in 1968 Reviews. In: 1968 in reviews, University of Birmingham, with the support of the British Academy / Leverhulme Trust, 23 April 2018, University of Birmingham. (Unpublished)

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This paper will look at Roland Barthes’ essays published during the 60’s and will undertake a comparative study of two essays of the period interrogating the notion of identity of the author in literature.

The first essay is the seminal “The Death of the Author” published in 1967. The famous essay, which champions the disappearance of the author, was first published not in French, but interestingly as an English translation. “The Death of the Author” was in fact commissioned for the Avant-Garde American magazine Aspen and translated by Richard Howard. It therefore exists primarily in a language which is not that of its author.

The second essay by Roland Barthes that this paper will consider is “Drame, Poème, Roman”, published in Critique in 1965. The essay is a review of Philippe Sollers’ novel Drame, where Barthes shows how the traditional personal pronouns 'je' and 'il' cancel each other so as to destroy the author himself and reveal a new indirect form of writing. This essay was published again in 1968 in a special edition of Tel Quel literary review entitled Théorie d’Ensemble, a collection of the most notable essays written between 1963 and 1968. The collection features Michel Foucault’s “Distance, Aspect, Origine” and Jacques Derrida’s “La Différance” alongside Barthes’ essay, and introduces the three as key pieces of writing of the period. On the occasion of this second publication, Barthes revised the essay by adding new footnotes to his own text. In doing so, the author is, just like Montaigne before him, entering in conversation with his own text, and ultimately making himself visible.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roland Barthes, Philippe Sollers, Tel Quel, Critique, Aspen Magazine, 1968, the Death of the Author, poststructuralism
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 23:46

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