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A Lover's Discourse, at its 1978 publication, was revolutionary: Roland Barthes made unprecedented use of the tools of structuralism to explore the whimsical phenomenon of love. Rich with references ranging from Goethe's Werther to Winnicott, from Plato to Proust, from Baudelaire to Schubert, A Lover's Discourse artfully draws a portrait in which every reader will find echoes of themselves.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
ROLAND BARTHES was born in 1915. A French literary theorist, philosopher, and critic, he influenced the development of schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, and post-structuralism. He died in 1980.
What People are Saying About This
Barthes's most popular and unusual performance as a writer is A Lover's Discourse, a writing out of the discourse of love. This language—primarily the complaints and reflections of the lover when alone, not exchanges of a lover with his or her partner—is unfashionable. Thought it is spoken by millions of people, diffused in our popular romances and television programs as well as in serious literature, there is no institution that explores, maintains, modifies, judges, repeats, and otherwise assumes responsibility for this discourse . . . Writing out the figures of a neglected discourse, Barthes surprises us in A Lover's Discourse by making love, in its most absurd and sentimental forms, an object of interest.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Barthes presents common sense as novel genius, vocalizing the experience of love. What is impressive is neither his scope nor insight into how people experience and suffer love, but in his ability to accurately relay those feelings through words. It's not analysis, it's simple summarization. Thought tends to be cyclical - we ponder a subject by jumping from scenario to analysis to justification without recourse, logic, or structure. Such is the nature of thought: lawless. We traverse the same ground over and over, approaching it from different directions, but essentially reliving the same thesis. The expression of thought, however, is necessarily linear. Words logically follow one another, and so too must your arguments. Barthes, in A Lover's Discourse, manages to portray the chaos of thought as a linear argument. By dissecting various properties and sensations which accompany love, while negating structural implications, he's managed to capture the chaos of thought. He runs over and over the same ground, but as a reader you follow his dalliance into this disarray because it's familiar - we recognize it from our own musings. He has provided neither logic nor explanation, but rather the opportunity to indulge in our own rumination.