Roland Barthes

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photo of BarthesQuotes

  • What I claim is to live to the full the contradiction of my time, which may well make sarcasm the condition of truth.
  • There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society: to retreat ahead of it.
  • Literature is the question minus the answer.
  • The New is not a fashion, it is a value.
  • The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition... always new books, new programs, new films, news items, but always the same meaning.
  • The photographic image... is a message without a code.
  • I call the discourse of power any discourse that engenders blame, hence guilt, in its recipient.
  • The politician being interviewed clearly takes a great deal of trouble to imagine an ending to his sentence: and if he stopped short? His entire policy would be jeopardized!
  • What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.
  • Details

Roland Barthes was born in Cherbourg on 12 November 1915, died 26 March 1980. He was a French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic, and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, social theory, design theory, anthropology and post-structuralism.

He was plagued by ill health throughout his life