Barthes sans peine, or how to write like Barthes


Ever wanted an idiot’s guide for writing like Roland Barthes? I guess I needed one, as René Girard once told me my style was like a bad Barthes imitation.

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Roland Barthes Par Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes by himself. Hmm. First published in 1975, this is an odd work. A certain dislocating anxiety pervades the book when I read it for the first time at the University of Illinois. Or was it Stanford? I forget. Hard to read straight through as it’s so reflexive, self-referencial, etc. Self-aggrandizing? Definitely. In any case, it was destined to be part of the Ëcrivains de toujours series published in France, the “écrivain x par lui-même”where a post-humous (and fictive) autobiography is cobbled together through quotes by the author himself. One of the first in this series was Michelet par lui-même.

oops.. I linked.

Roland Barthes sans peine by accident. Let me fix that ASAP.

R. BARTHES, Roland Barthes par Roland Barthes, Seuil, Paris, 1975.


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