Roland Barthes


Literary Structuralism


"The Pleasure of the Text"
The Discourse on History
Mythologies (1957)
Theorists and Critics
Theorist and Critic
Barthes Webpage


"We know that a text is not a line of words releasing a single 'theological' meaning (the 'message' of Author-God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from innumerable centres of culture." (Image—Music—Text, 146)

"In the multiplicity of writing, everything is to be disentangled, nothing deciphered; the structure can be followed, 'run' (like the thread of a stocking) at every point and at every level, but there is nothing beneath: the space of writing is to be ranged over, not pierced; writing ceaselessly posits meaning ceaselessly to evaporate it, carrying out a systematic exemption of meaning. " (Image—Music—Text, 147)

"The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; a text's unity lies not in its origin but in its destination. . . . The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author." (Image—Music—Text, 148 )

"We had to wait till Mallarmé for our literature to conceive a free signifier no longer burdened by the censure of the false signified, and to attempt writing finally rid of the historical repression in which the privileges of 'thought' imprison it.... This baroque side ... manifests the signifier's ubiquity, present at all levels of the text and not, as is commonly said, on its surface alone." "The Baroque Side", The Rustle of Language, 233-34.


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