Roland Barthes Essay The Of The Author

Roland Barthes work is ever-changing and ever-adaptive, providing new insights to literary philosophers even today.

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Their biographies have no more relevance to what they write than do those of scientists.

In ‘The Death of the Author’, Barthes argues that writing destroys every voice and point of origin.

By this he means that creativity is a continuous process of gradual change, which can be perfected only through constant practice and resilience.

Following his debut, his works Mythologies (1957), Critical Essays (1964) and The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies (1964), explore the meaning we have associated to various popular cultural icons, ranging from the world of fashion to advertising to wrestling.

One notable point of controversy is Barthes’s proclamation of the ‘death of the author’.

This ‘death’ is directed, not at the idea of writing, but at the specifically French image of the as a creative genius expressing an inner vision.

He maintains that authors such as Racine and Balzac often reproduce emotional patterns about which they have no conscious knowledge.

He opposes the view that authors should be interpreted in terms of what they think they’re doing.

All in all, Barthes maintained a unique literary philosophy and a vague, eccentric writing style which was widely copied by writers worldwide.

His theories gathered equal amounts of praise and criticism by readers and critiques alike.


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