A Barthes Reader (Barnes & Noble Rediscovers Series)

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Along with only a handful of other writers, Roland Barthes has set the direction of modern cultural and literary criticism. More than two dozen of his books have appeared in English translation, and several major American writers have heralded his essays as elegant and profound. Susan Sontag, among the first to bring Barthes to the attention of American readers, has delved into the many riches of his writings to assemble this essential one-volume collection, originally published...

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2009 Hard Cover Very Good in Very Good jacket Very nice hardback and jacket. Only slight wear. Text is clean, unmarked, tight. (Shelf location: N) All items carefully packed to ... avoid damage from moisture and rough handling. Read more Show Less

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New York City, NY 2009 Hardcover. First Edition. First Printing. 420 pages. Fine in Fine dust jacket. Memorial collection of essays. One of the most important literary ... retrospectives of our time. The first appearance of the title in the "Barnes & Noble Rediscovers" Series Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent printings. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. While the B & N Series' goal was to bring back into print literary masterpieces, particularly those not available in the otherwise all-inclusi ve Penguin Paperback Series, the project's (surprisingly) high standards of production imperilled and eventually doomed the noble enterprise. This book, for example, is very beautifully produced, a genuine collectible, with gilt hard boards, pictorial DJ, which features a brilliant sketch of Roland Barthes by David Levine, and pristine-white, archival stock paper printed in the United States to the highest standards (instead of China, wh Read more Show Less

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Overview

Along with only a handful of other writers, Roland Barthes has set the direction of modern cultural and literary criticism. More than two dozen of his books have appeared in English translation, and several major American writers have heralded his essays as elegant and profound. Susan Sontag, among the first to bring Barthes to the attention of American readers, has delved into the many riches of his writings to assemble this essential one-volume collection, originally published in 1982, two years after Barthes’s tragic death.

A Barthes Reader includes his earliest essay (on Gide), his Inaugural Lecture at the Collège de France, and “Deliberation,” none of which had previously been published in English. It also offers a broad sampling from the most representative of his major works: On Racine, Writing Degree Zero, Mythologies, Critical Essays, The Pleasure of the Text, Sade/Fourier/Loyola, Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text, A Lover’s Discourse, The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, and New Critical Essays. The texts are presented in their entirety, except in the case of a few of the lengthier ones, from which Sontag has chosen substantial key sections.

All the selections are eloquently translated, and Sontag’s introductory essay—itself an important contribution to Barthes studies—stands as a definitive evaluation and summation of the author and his work.

Praise for Roland Barthes:

“Sontag makes a convincing argument for Barthes the Great Writer.”—Edmund White, The New York Times

 

“Barthes’s career was an exemplary search for understanding how man creates meaning, a lifelong exploration of man’s definition as ‘Homo significans,’ the maker of meaning in signs. In anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, and the discourse upon literature, this has been a characteristic preoccupation of our age, and no one addressed himself to it so persistently, so multifariously, so ingeniously, as Barthes.”—Peter Brooks, The New Republic

“Though Barthes left behind disciples, there can be no replacing him; his brilliance had a wavelength all its own.”—John Updike

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435109773
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 5/25/2009
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Rediscovers Series
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Roland Barthes (1915–1980) studied French literature and classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor at the Collège de France at the time of his death.

Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was one of our most illustrious critics. In addition to works of fiction and film, her books include Against Interpretation, Styles of Radical Will, Illness as Metaphor, On Photography, and Regarding the Pain of Others.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    Wonderful essay by Susan Sontag

    Barthes is a thinker who writes with clarity and humor. Sontag's selection of essays is superb.

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