• Roland Barthes

    _ Barthes’s work extended over many fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics,  existentialism, marxism and post-structuralism.

    His works:

    “Death of the author”:

    1. Barthes criticizes the reader’s tendency to consider aspects of the author’s identity—his political views, historical context, religion, ethnicity, psychology, or other biographical or personal attributes—to distill meaning from his work.

    2. Readers must separate a literary work from its creator in order to liberate it from interpretive tyranny.

    3. The essential meaning of a work depends on the impressions of the reader, rather than the “passions” or “tastes” of the writer.

    4. Barthes notes that the traditional critical approach to literature raises a thorny problem: how can we detect precisely what the writer intended? His answer is that we cannot.


    1.    It is a collection of essays taken from Les Lettres nouvelles, examining the tendency of contemporary social value systems to create modern myths.

    2.    It looks at the semiology of the process of myth creation, updating Ferdinand de Saussure’s system of sign analysis by adding a second level where signs are elevated to the level of myth.

    3.    It is a text which is not one but plural, it contains fifty-four short journalistic articles on a variety of subjects.

    4.    Mythologies includes an important theoretical essay entitled `Le Mythe aujourd’hui’, it is a retrospectively imposed theoretical conspectus (an overall view) which is an important theoretical or methodological tract in its own right.

    “From Work to Text”

    1.      Barthes argues that the relations of writer, reader and observer are changed by movement from work to text.

    2.      It includes the differences between work and text in terms of method, genres, signs, plurality, filiation, reading, and pleasure.

    3.      The Text is a “methodological field” rather then a portion of the space of books.

    4.      The text “cannot stop” because the process of language does not come to an end; the meaning is always suspended, something deferred or still to come.

    By: Nawal, Dalal, and marwa.