Roland Barthes

Philosopher, Author

Roland Barthes (12 November 1915 – 25 March 1980) was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes's work extended over many fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism and post-structuralism.

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    Philosopher, Author           

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    Roland Barthes                                    

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Mentioned In 53 Books

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  • Madeleine’s love troubles had begun at a time when the French theory she was reading deconstructed the very notion of love. Semiotics 211 was an upper-level seminar taught by a former English department renegade. Michael Zipperstein had come to Brown thirty-two years earlier as a New Critic. He’d inculcated the habits of close reading and biography-free interpretation into three generations of students before taking a Road to Damascus sabbatical, in Paris, in 1975, where he’d met Roland Barthes at a dinner party and been converted, over cassoulet, to the new faith. Now Zipperstein taught two courses in the newly created Program in Semiotics Studies: Introduction to Semiotic Theory in the fall and, in the spring, Semiotics 211. Hygienically bald, with a seaman’s mustacheless white beard, Zipperstein favored French fisherman’s sweaters and wide-wale corduroys. He buried people with his reading lists: in addition to all the semiotic big hitters—Derrida, Eco, Barthes—the students in Semiotics 211 had to contend with a magpie nest of reserve reading that included everything from Balzac’s Sarrasine to issues of Semiotext(e) to photocopied selections from E. M. Cioran, Robert Walser, Claude Levi-Strauss, Peter Handke, and Carl Van Vechten. To get into the seminar, you had to submit to a one-on-one interview with Zipperstein during which he asked bland personal questions, such as what your favorite food or dog breed was, and made enigmatic Warholian remarks in response. This esoteric probing, along with Zipperstein’s guru’s dome and beard, gave his students a sense that they’d been spiritually vetted and were now—for two hours on Thursday afternoons, at least—part of a campus lit-crit elite.

    Jeffrey EugenidesThe Marriage Plot

From This Book

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  • The Marriage Plot

    2011
    Jeffrey Eugenides

  • Genet

    1994
    Edmund White

  • Power, Politics, and Culture

    2002
    Edward Said

  • The Book of Dead Philosophers

    2009
    Simon Critchley

  • Inventing Herself

    2001
    Elaine Showalter

  • The Age of Grief

    2002
    Jane Smiley

  • In Search of Lost Time, Volume I

    2000
    Marcel Proust

  • Capitol Threat

    2007
    William Bernhardt

  • Intoxicated by My Illness

    1993
    Anatole Broyard

  • Men and Cartoons

    2005
    Jonathan Lethem

  • Wish You Were Here

    2005
    Nick Webb

  • Voltaire's Bastards

    1993
    John Saul

  • Bear v. Shark

    2001
    Chris Bachelder

  • Truck: A Love Story

    2005
    Michael Perry

  • Some Can Whistle

    2010
    Larry McMurtry

  • The Other

    2009
    David Guterson

  • The Boy Kings

    2012
    Katherine Losse

  • And the Show Went On

    2011
    Alan Riding

  • Lance Armstrong's War

    2009
    Daniel Coyle

  • The Story of B

    1995
    Daniel Quinn

  • Buffalo Bill's America

    2006
    Louis S. Warren


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