Roland Barthes

Criticism & Truth


Oorspronkelijke titel: Critique et vérité, 1966
Vertaling: Katrine Pilcher Keuneman, 1987
Uitgever: University of Minnesota Press
ISBN13: 978-0-8166-1609-1ISBN: 9780816616091

Ook als 0-8166-1608-6


When the Sorbonne philologist Raymond Picard launched an attack on Roland Barthes's Sur Racine, a book that drew upon psychoanalysis and structural anthropology, Barthes responded with Critique et Vérite. Published in France in 1966, Barthes's reply to Picard went beyond its polemical origins to become a key document in the formation of structuralism. Yet the terms of Barthes's argument (and, clearly, his intent) are broader than the issues surrounding his own work or the structuralist movement. He sees the "new criticism" that Picard attacked as part of a larger shift in the roles of critic and writer that dates at least from the time of Mallarme, and his entire argument centers upon the institutional constraints that condition literary studies and resist the merging of those roles.
In this first English translation of Critique et Vérite, Barthes's elegant formulations retain their freshness and persuasive power years after the conflict that set them in motion. Structured as a two-part essay, the book opens with Barthes's point-by-point dissection of Picard's "old criticism:' Emphasizing its deafness to symbols, Barthes constructs his own argument, in Part II, on an expanded notion of the symbol, which he defines as "the very plurality of meanings" held within a work. To the investigation of this plurality he assigns three kinds of discourse - the science of literature, criticism, and reading - and he shows, ultimately, that one can cross the abyss that separates criticism and reading, and, by implication, that which separates both from the work of the writer.





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