| Share
 

Roland Barthes

Barthes, Roland (rôläNˈ bärt) [key], 1915–80, French critic. Barthes was one of the founding figures in the theoretical movement centered around the journal Tel Quel. In his earlier works, such as Writing Degree Zero (tr. 1953) and Mythologies (1957, tr. 1972), he argued that literature, like all forms of communication, is essentially a system of signs. As such, he argued that it encodes various ideologies or "myths," to be decoded in terms of its own organizing principles or internal structures. He was strongly influenced by the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, and his ideas, as expressed in works such as S/Z (1970, tr. 1974) and Empire of Signs (1970, tr. 1982), became more eclectic. Barthes has had an enormous influence on American literary theory.

See studies by J. Culler (1983), P. Lombardo (1989), and M. B. Wiseman (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Roland Barthes from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Literature: Biographies

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring