See also: Barthes (homonymy)
Roland Barthes , born on November 12th, 1915 with Cherbourg, dead on March 26th, 1980 with Paris, is a writer and semiologist French. He was one of the principal organizers of the structuralist adventure and French Sémiotique.
BiographyRoland Barthes is born in 1915 with Cherbourg. Very early orphan from father, it passes his childhood to Bayonne, then in Paris, where it studies with the Montaigne college then with the Louis-the-Large college. In 1935, it starts traditional studies of letters in Sorbonne, where it contributes to found the “Group of ancient theater of the Sorbonne”.
Reformed, he escapes the mobilization and becomes professor with Biarritz. Touched by the Tuberculosis, it remains lengthily in Sanatorium, France and Suisse. It carries out a rich intellectual life to it, made determining meetings (of which that of Georges Fournié) and made fundamental readings (Marx, Michelet, Sartre). It publishes its first texts. In 1947, it publishes in Combat the first of the texts which will constitute Degree zero of the writing . Begin also a life of professional stays abroad: Bucharest, Alexandria (where it meets Greimas and where it is initiated with the Linguistique); it will also remain in Morocco several times as from 1963 (it teaches with Rabat in 1969-1970).
In 1952, of return to Paris where he works at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, he publishes “the world where one catche” in the review Esprit then continued his “Small mythologies of the month” in Combat and the review of Maurice Nadeau, new Letters . These short texts made known it of a vast public and will be joined together in volume in 1957. But its first test, Degree zero of the writing , appeared in 1953, was quickly regarded as proclamation of a new concerned criticism of logic immanente of the text. At that time, the theater interests it particularly. It takes part in the creation of Communications and collaborates in Such as it is .
In 1962, it entered with Michel Foucault and Michel Deguy to the first “Editorial board” of the review Critique near Jean Piel which takes again the direction of the review after the death of Georges Bataille.
Teaching with the Life section of the practical School of the high studies as of 1962 - its first seminars will carry on the topic “Inventory of the contemporary systems of significance” and will lead to its Éléments of semiology (1965) and the Système of the mode (1967) - Roland Barthes occupied the pulpit of Sémiologie Collège de France of 1977 with 1980.
In 1966, it takes part in the Querelle of the new criticism while answering Raymond Picard by his book Critique and truth . The beginning of the year 1970 is one period of intense publication, which sees it to move away from the structuralist formalism and to choose more assumed subjectivity, with the empire of the signs (1970), S/Z (1970), Sade, Fourier, Loyola (1971), Nouveaux critical tests (1972), followed by its Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes (1975) and his Fragments of a speech in love (1977). It is also the time of the recognition: Such as it is (1971) and the Arc (1973) devote special issues to him, and a decade is organized on its work with Cerisy-the-Room (1977).
Mown by a van (of a company of washing) whereas it went to the Collège de France, on February 25th, 1980, Barthes died of the continuations of this accident on March 26th following to the Hôpital of Pity-Salpêtrière to Paris.
Its newspaper was published in a posthumous way. Its homosexuality is evoked there. Roland Barthes is moreover the model of one of the characters of Andre Techine, Romain, interpreted by Philippe Noiret in the film " I Embrace pas" (1991).
The “death of the author”Roland Barthes liked to tell this small joke with his students: a disabled person plunges himself in the water of Lourdes so that its situation improves and comes out from it with a very new wheelchair. Passed main in the speeches with the multiple directions, that he will have fun to demystify, Barthes is confined into 1968 of this odd article which is “the death of the author”.
Combined with the conference of Foucault under the title “What an author? ”, the article of Barthes will have the effect of a bomb. Until their publication, well later and in posthumous collections, these two texts a long time were very photocopied by the students and were used by the teachers, and became to some extent a creed Post-structuralism French.
The two texts especially gained this popularity by their Holy-Beuve opposition to Lanson and , critics dominant in the French literary studies, which attach a great place to the author in the judgment of a work. However, for Barthes, " “the author died”: he affirms that “the birth of the reader must treat to death of the author”. Indeed, its idea is that the author must yield his place to the reader, who rewrites the text for itself (one says readily since it in has his own reading (expression that Thierry Maulnier will denounce besides): the author is not thus any more the only one parking direction of his work. Formerly, when an author “was devoted”, all its writings became automatically work, including the correspondence, the drafts, etc Maintenant that the author died, a writing becomes work (or “text” in our case) if its contents are in conformity with the idea that one is done of the author. One remembers the executors of extreme Hugo a certain number of letters (or more exactly their found drafts) to the reason than they could tarnish the image missing.
So tomorrow one discovered a written manuscript of the hand of Roland Barthes (the man) but not corresponding to the style of Barthes (the writer) could be deliberately omitted of its complete works (which for the blow would not be it any more)? It is not impossible. The name of the author is used altogether as designator with his work . To say “to have read any Roland Barthes” means to have read its works, not the man. In the same way, to discover that the death of the author is hand of another would change the design of Barthes-writer, but not of Barthes-l' man. The author is thus built starting from its writings, and not the reverse. The author is not any more in the beginning of the text; this one comes from the language itself. “I” who express myself, it is the language, not the author. The stating is a function of the language here.
When the work appeared, its interpretation by the author does not have more value than very other by anyone.
If I made the portrait of Pierre, and if somebody finds that my work resembles Jacques more than in Pierre, I then nothing to oppose to him - and its assertion is worth mine.
My intention is only my intention, and work is work.
Is this to be avenged to be thus preceded that Barthes will stigmatize the use of the Tautologie ( work is work ) in an article with its Mythologies entitled “Root is Racine”?
tautology is always aggressive: it means rageuse rupture between the intelligence and its object, the threat of an order where one would not think.
System of the modeIn System of the mode, as in Elements of semiology , Roland Barthes makes much to popularize the concept of denotation (by passably betraying this concept which had been advanced by the Danish linguist Louis Hjelmslev), and that of Métalangage.
E = expression, R = relation, C are the notations = contained.
One can have:
(E R1 C1) R2 C2: R1 = denotation, R2 = connotation
Ex: I carry a Jean perforated to mean (to connote) that I am punk. E = Jean; C1 = to equip me, me protect from the cold, etc; C2 = “I am punk”
E 1 R 1 (E 2 R 2 C): R1 = metalanguage, R2 = language-object
Ex: “The word " chat" ”: E1 = “the word " chat" ”; E2 = " chat" ; C = swell of hairs moving.
During Years 1950, in Mythologies (Threshold, 1957), Roland Barthes exclaimed: “(...) one of our major constraints: overpowering divorce of mythology and knowledge. Science goes quickly and right in its way; but the collective representations do not follow, they are centuries, maintained stagnant behind in the error by the capacity, the large press and the values of order. ” (Barthes 1957: 72-73) In this major book, it describes myths as various as the Citroen DS, wrestling, the wine and the face of Greta Garbo. But it also analyzes the phenomenon even myth.
The myth for Barthes is a tool of the ideology, it carries out the beliefs, whose Doxa is the system, in the speech: the myth is a sign. Its meant is a idéologème, its meaning can be anything: “Each object of the world can pass from an existence closed, dumb, in an oral state, opened with the appropriation of the company. ” (Barthes 1957: 216)
In the myth, writing Barthes, the semiological “meaning/meant chain = sign” is doubled. The myth is constituted starting from a preexistent chain: the sign of the first CHAIN becomes meaning it of the second. Barthes gives the example of a sentence appearing like example in a grammar: it is a sign made up of meaning and meant, but which becomes in its meaning context of grammar new of which meant “I am here like example of a grammatical rule” (Barthes 1957: 222-223). New loan - always not credited - in Valéry, which had specified in this same Such as it is as “ Quia nominor leo ” in fact “I meant am a grammatical rule”. But isn't it said that the imitation is the most sincere form of flattery?
A purely ideological example in this collection is the photograph of a black soldier looking at the national flag, where the sign as a whole becomes meaning it of the myth of the adhesion of the populations colonized with the French Empire.
In last analysis, the Doxa propagated by the myth, for Barthes, is the image that the middle-class is made world and that it imposes on the world. The middle-class strategy is to fill the whole world of its culture and its morals, while making forget its own statute of historical class: “The statute of the middle-class is particular, historical: the man whom it represents will be universal, eternal; (...) Lastly, the idea first of the world perfectible, mobile, will produce the reversed image of an immutable humanity, defined by an infinitely started again identity. ” (Barthes 1957: 250-251)
the Camera lucida, Notes over photography , Paris, Seuil, 1980the Camera lucida , in opposition to the Darkroom where the photograph is developed, is an explanation, a philosophy, according to Roland Barthes. This one remains deafened by a photograph of 1852 representing the last brother of Napoleon. He says himself then: “These eyes saw the Emperor! ”. Then cultural photography moves away it little by little from this astonishment. He wants however to know what photography is “in oneself”, if it has an own “genius”. In any case it reproduces ad infinitum, mechanically, which takes place only once. It cannot be transformed philosophically. To perceive what it means is not impossible if one calls upon the reflection.
The photographs which interest Roland Barthes are those in front of which it tests pleasure or emotion. It does not take account of the rules of composition of a landscape. In front of certain photographs, he wants to be wild, without culture. Starting from the photographs which he likes, he tries to formulate a philosophy. Not being photographer, it has at its disposal only two experiences: that of the looked at subject and that of the looking at subject.
What he likes, it is the mechanical noise of the finger of the photographer on the apparatus and not the eye who terrifies it. Compared to its character, the restored image is motionless, therefore heavy, whereas him wants to be light; in front of the objective, it is at the same time:
- “that which he believes,
- that which he would like that it is believed,
- that which the photographer it believes,
- that of which he serves for exhiber his art”.
Therefore it has a feeling of unauthenticity. It becomes object. It thus takes the photographs which it likes for analysis and known as that they animate it and that it animates them. It is the attraction which realizes them at its sight. They is their feelings. He likes the dualities, the dissimilar characters, the heteroclite scenes…
He names two elements which cause its admiration of the photograph:
- the studium (taste for somebody or something)
- the punctum (the puncture, a poignant detail)
- the good cultural subject constitutes the studium .
- One of the characters, arms crosseds, carries a broad belt. This detail Barthes fascine and constitutes its punctum . Thanks to him, a field plugs is created (a kind of subtle out-field), conferring on this portrait an external life.
“A photograph is surprising when one does not know why it was taken. A photograph is subversive when it is pensive and nonalarming”. The photograph touches it if it withdraws its ordinary verbosity to him: technique, reality, report, art…
Until this stage, Roland Barthes learned how walk its desire but did not discover yet the “nature” of photography. It has also a relationship with death: the photograph makes motionless any subject. He discovers a photograph of his mother (after the death of this one) and realizes that the love and death intervene in its choice of single photograph, irreplaceable. In photography, there is reality and passed. He confused truth and reality. Here is from now on for Barthes Genius of photography, which was photographed “existed”!
He does not like the color photographs some because he with the impression which it interposes between the subject and him. He speaks about the rays which emanate from the subject photographed as if they were always alive.
Photography astonishes Roland Barthes as if it had the capacity to make live again what was. She does not invent (as any other language can do it), “she is the authentification even” (page 135). “What one sees on paper is as sure as what one touches” (page 136), but photography cannot say what it gives to see (page 156). Photography is violent (page 143) because it fills up of force the sight. It is perishable (like paper): it is born as any living organism with very the money grains which germinate, opens out then ages.
According to Barthes, the amateur is held with more close to photography. The Noème (intentional object of the thought, for the Phenomenology) of photography is simple: “that was” (page 176). The madness is born in photography if one enters in extase in front of it. Wise or insane, these are the two ways that Roland Barthes is given to choose.
Quotations of Paul Valéry
Such as it is I, Ideas NRF, Gallimard 1941, Literature , p. 198
- Research in progress…
Quotation of Roland BarthesMythologies , Threshold, 1970, p. 97
- “the literature is not supported any more by the rich classes (...) Which supports the literature? You, me. I.e. people without incomes. The literature is supported by customers of displaced. We the are exiled social ones and we carry the literature in our thin luggage. ”
“I then come from there to wonder whether the beautiful one and touching iconography of the Pierre Abbot is not the alibi of which a good part of the nation is authorized, once more, to substitute with impunity the signs of charity for the reality of justice. ”
“When I know myself photographed, I transform myself into image…”
“What is vitiated in the turn, it is the base, the economic mobiles, the ultimate profit of the test, generator of ideological alibis. This does not prevent the turn from being an attractive national fact, insofar as the epopee expresses this fragile moment of the History where the man, even awkward, deceived, through impure fables, envisages all the same with its way a perfect adequacy between him, the community and the universe” (article the Tour de France like epopee )
“the language, like performance of any language, is neither reactionary nor progressist; it is quite simply fascistic; because Fascism, it is not to prevent from saying, it is to oblige to say.” inaugural Lesson at the Collège de France , 1977
“Which is what theatricalness? It is the theater minus the text, it is a thickness of signs and feelings which are built on the scene starting from the written argument. ”
As time passed, some of the readers who had admired his work at his beginnings believed there to detect a kind of system , a little as if Barthes had ended up being put at to make of Barthes . The reaction of the admirors was with the measurement of their disappointment (justified or not): the Roland Barthes without sorrow (1978), of Michel-Antoine Burnier and Patrick Rambaud, which pitilessly passed to the moulinette all the tics of the Master (and some of its epigone S like Helene Cixous), was a best-seller.
One can suppose that Barthes lute the work with pleasure: what could be more pleasant for a deboulonnor of myths than to see itself unbolted itself (and thus thus recognized) by its disciples? And in any event the Fragments of a speech in love not very front published escaped largely for their part from this criticism.
- Degree zero of the writing followed New critical tests , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1953
- Michelet by itself , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1954
- Mythologies , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1957
- On Root, Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1963
- critical Tests , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1964
- the tower Eiffel , National center of photography/Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1964
- Elements of semiology , Denoël/Gonthier, Paris, 1965
- Critical and truth , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1966
- System of the mode, Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1967
- S/Z , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1970
- empire of the signs , Skira, Paris, 1970
- Sade, Fourier, Loyola , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1971
- New critical tests , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1972
- pleasure of the text , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1973
- Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1975
- Then China? , Christian Bourgois, Paris, 1975
- Fragments of a speech in love , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1977
- Lesson , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1978
- Sollers writer , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1979
- the camera lucida: Note on photography , Gallimard/Seuil/Cahiers of the cinema, Paris, 1980
- On the literature , ED. University presses of Grenoble, 1980
- the grain of the voice: Talks, 1962-1980 , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1981
- obviate It and the blunt one: Critical tests III , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1982
- All except you: Paul Steinberg , Reference mark, Paris, 1983
- the rustle of the language: Critical tests IV , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1984
- the semiological adventure , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1985
- Incidental , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1987
- complete Works: volume I , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 1993
- complete Works: volume II , Éditions of the Threshold, Paris, 1994
- complete Œuvres: volume III , Éditions of the Threshold, Paris, 1995
- the pleasure of the text preceded by Variations on the writing , Éditions of the Threshold, Paris, 2000
- Écrits on the theater , Éditions of the Threshold, Paris, 2002
- How to live together: course and seminars at the Collège de France 1976 - 1977 , Editions of the Threshold/Imec, Paris, 2002
- the neutral: course and seminars at the Collège de France 1977 - 1978 , Editions of the Threshold/Imec, Paris, 2002
- preparation of the novel: I and II, course with the college of France 1978 - 1980 , Editions of the Threshold/Imec, November, 2003 (Sound archives with the format MP3, 28h of listening)
- Mythologies, republication , Editions of the Threshold, Paris, 2007
- inaugural Lesson at the Collège de France, on January 7th, 1977, diffused by Fridays of the philosophy of October 31st, 2004, or by the review of the resources.
- Entirety of the readings " How to live ensemble" (1977) and " The neutre" (1978) at the Collège de France diffused by ubu Web.
- Reading mp3 (delivers audio): two extracts of Mythologies: Wine and milk, the beefsteak and the chips
- Acts of a conference " Topicality of Roland Barthes
- Article on Mythologies by Antoine Compagnon, professor at the Collège de France
- Roland Barthes by Philippe Sollers
- educational Course of the exposure devoted to Roland Barthes by the center Georges pompidou from November 27th, 2002 to March 10th, 2003
|Random links:||Operate of Valsalva | Large Bénare | Andre Chaumeix | Index (typography) | Haven-city | Système_de_gestion_de_paquet|