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Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes

Michael Moriarty

ISBN: 978-0-745-68048-4

Jan 2014, Polity

255 pages



This book provides a lively introduction to the work of Roland Barthes, one of the twentieth century's most important literary and cultural theorists. The book covers all aspects of Barthes's writings including his work on literary theory, mass communications, the theatre and politics. Moriarty argues that Barthes's writing must not be seen as an unchanging body of thought, and that we should study his ideas in the contexts within which they were formulated, debated and developed.

Preface ix

A Note on References x

Abbreviations xii

Introduction 1

Part I Sign and Ideology 15

1 Myths 19

2 Writing and Responsibility 31

3 Barthes on Theatre 44

Part II The Structuralist Activity 53

4 Literary Structuralism I: The Ethnography of Tragedy 59

5 'A Little Scientific Delirium': Barthes as Semiologist 73

6 Literary Structuralism II: Narrative Analysis 91

Part III Beyond the Sign 103

7 The Post-Structural Analysis of Narrative 117

8 Text and its Pleasures 143

Part IV Late Barthes 155

9 Affirming the Imaginary 169

10 The Body 186

11 Image and Real 195

Biographical Appendix 209

Notes 211

Bibliography 241

Index 249

'Moriarty's considerable achievement in this book is to provide a sustained focus on the forms and functions of the politics of Barthes's writing ... Moriarty's account will guide and illuminate the readings of newcomers to his work as well as enhancing and enriching the rereadings of those who already know Barthes.'
Ann Jefferson, New College, Oxford

'A lucid and detailed account of the range of Barthes's work.'
French Studies

'Michael Moriarty's study is, I believe, excellent news for the undergraduate interested in Barthes. Though not specifically on literary theory, it will prove to be a comprehensive account of Barthes' importance to this discipline.' Modern and Contemporary France

* Roland Barthes was one of the major literary and cultural figures of the twentieth century.
* This is a brilliant and comprehensive study providing an invaluable introduction to Barthes's work.
* The book will appeal both to the uninitiated reader and to those already working in the field.
* This is the latest book in the highly successful Key Contemporary Thinkers series.