Roland Barthes as a Cultural Theorist

French literary critic, Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a key figure both in the development of structuralism — in particular in the application of techniques derived from semiology to the analysis of everyday life and popular (as well as high) culture — and in the post-structuralist criticism of structuralism. His work covers an enormous range of… Read More Roland Barthes as a Cultural Theorist

Julia Kristeva and the Semanalysis

Kristeva first came into prominence for her work on Bakhtin  Seeking to counter the “necrophilia”as (Kristeva called it) of phenomenology and structural linguistics, she suggested “semanalysis,” a portmanteau term derived from semiology (Saussure)and psychoanalysis (Freud) to address an element beyond language but in an extremely self-critical fashion, questioning its own suppositions and ideological gestures. With… Read More Julia Kristeva and the Semanalysis

Roland Barthes’ Analysis of Balzac’s Sarrasine

Barthes’ analysis of Balzac’s Sarassin in S/Z (1970) has led to some major development in poststructuralist theory. Barthes identifies two main types of literature, roughly corresponding to the 19th century realist novel and the twentieth century experimental modernist novel. Traditionally, the realist text, which Barthes calls the “readerly text” was thought to be transparent, with seemingly unitary… Read More Roland Barthes’ Analysis of Balzac’s Sarrasine

Semiotics/ Semiology

A highly influential branch of study, Semiotics or the study of signs, can be considered the foundation for literary theory. Many of the revolutionary theories of the twentieth century, such as Structuralism and Poststructuralism, Structural Anthropology (Levi-Strauss), Psychoanalysis (Lacan), Cultural Studies (Barthes) and the theories of Foucault have drawn their ideas from Semiotics.   Introduced… Read More Semiotics/ Semiology