Roland Barthes at the College de France

O'Meara, Lucy (2012) Roland Barthes at the College de France. Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 22 . Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, UK, 256 pp. ISBN 9781846318436. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Roland Barthes at the Collège de France studies the four lecture courses given by Barthes in Paris between 1977 and 1980. This study, the first full-length account of this material, places Barthes’s teaching within institutional, intellectual and personal contexts. Analysing the texts and recordings of Comment vivre ensemble, Le Neutre and La Préparation du roman I et II in tandem with Barthes’s 1970s output, the book brings together for the first time all the strands of Barthes’s activity as writer, teacher and public intellectual. Theoretically wide-ranging in scope, Lucy O’Meara’s study focuses particularly on Barthes’s pedagogical style, addressing how his wilfully un-magisterial teaching links to the anti-systematic, anti-dogmatic goals of the rest of his work. Barthes’s methodology sought to negotiate the balance between singularity and universality, and central to this endeavour are aesthetic thought and techniques of essayism and fragmentation. Barthes’s strategies are here linked to broad intellectual influences, from the legacies of Montaigne, Kant, Schlegel and Adorno to the contemporary intellectual trends which Barthes sought to evade, and his attraction towards Eastern philosophies such as Zen and Tao. Barthes’s lectures discuss ideal forms of community life, ‘neutral’ modes of discourse and behaviour, and the idea of writing a novel. His consideration of these fantasies involves a profound exploration of the nature of literary creation, social interaction, subjectivity, and the possibility of a universal particular. Roland Barthes at the Collège de France reassesses the critical and ethical priorities of Barthes’s work in the decade before his death, demonstrating the vitally affirmative core of Barthes’s late thought.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French
Depositing User: Fiona Godfrey
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2012 10:43
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2013 12:27
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/30178 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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