The Neutral: Lecture Course at the College de France (1977-1978)

The Neutral: Lecture Course at the College de France (1977-1978)

by Roland Barthes
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231134045

ISBN-13: 9780231134040

Pub. Date: 07/06/2005

Publisher: Columbia University Press

The Neutral, as Barthes describes it, escapes or undoes the paradigmatic binary oppositions that structure and produce meaning in Western thought and discourse. These binaries are found in all aspects of human society, from language to sexuality to politics. For Barthes, the attempt to deconstruct or escape from these binaries has profound ethical, philosophical,

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Overview

The Neutral, as Barthes describes it, escapes or undoes the paradigmatic binary oppositions that structure and produce meaning in Western thought and discourse. These binaries are found in all aspects of human society, from language to sexuality to politics. For Barthes, the attempt to deconstruct or escape from these binaries has profound ethical, philosophical, and linguistic implications.

The Neutral comprises a landmark series of lectures Barthes delivered in 1978 at the Collège de France, just two years before his death. It centers around twenty-three "figures," also referred to as "traits" or "twinklings," that are possible embodiments of the Neutral (sleep, silence, tact) or of the anti-Neutral (anger, arrogance, conflict). His lectures draw on a diverse set of authors and intellectual traditions, including Lao-tzu, Tolstoy, German mysticism, classical philosophy, Rousseau, Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, and John Cage. In addition to his reflections on a variety of literary and scholarly works, Barthes's personal convictions and the events of his life also shape the course and content of the lectures-most prominently, the recent death of his mother and the idea of mourning. Barthes's unique approach to his subjects gives his writing a playful, intimate, and even joyous quality that enhances his rich insights.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231134040
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
07/06/2005
Series:
European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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