1 Roland Barthes from "The Death of the Author" to Camera Lucida: The Trajectory Made by Critical Theory Why

should anyone take precisely these two texts as the major contrasting points between which to trace the significant change in Roland Barthes' work? “The Death of the Author” is often cited as a culmination of Barthes’ structuralist activity, and also as an epitome of post-structuralist thinking in general. Camera Lucida is a text that exemplifies Barthes’ work in the last stage of his career, tending more and more towards literary and autobiographical writing. The scholars who specialize in Barthes do not seem to accord any privileged place to these two titles within the great array of his other writings. Yet for the majority of people, students, academics, and "common readers" who have heard Barthes' name and have a more or less general idea about his work, which nevertheless is likely to play a major part in their notion of "literary theory," I would argue that "The Death of the Author" and Camera Lucida do stand out. If they didn't stand out for me, as some kind of a binary opposition, I would not have ventured to write about Barthes at all, not being an expert on the totality of his work. But I am interested in exploring how these two works function as a binary pair which is part of the widely circulating intellectual image, the current “mythical” figure of Roland Barthes.1 In fact, it is not my intention to denounce this binary opposition as “wrong” or uninformed, since it creates a juxtaposition that can yield some insights into both works. The "media" or "popular" prominence of "The Death of the Author" among other shorter essays by Barthes can be seen, for instance, in the following statistical mini-survey that I conducted with the help of Google, among the materials that this search motor provided to the request for a "Roland Barthes essay." The Johns Hopkins online Guide to Literary Theory, in its Barthes entry, mentions only one of the shorter essays, "The Death of the Author." The same is true about the Online Literary Encyclopedia (www.litencyc.com). Wikipedia mentions two essays, "The Death of the Author" and "From Work to Text." The website of the Columbia University routinely and typically designates Barthes as "the theorist who famously proclaimed 'The Death of the Author'." The Electronic Labyrinth, a website devoted to relationships between hypertext and literature and supported by the University of Virginia, assigns to "The Death of the Author" a special webpage; as one could expect by this point, this website refers to no other short essay by Barthes. As for Camera Lucida, another Google search was in order, since I already did it for the article. I applied the same strategy of search, typing in “Roland Barthes book,” a naïve and comical request as it sounds. Then I counted how many webpages of the first hundred that Google responded with were devoted exclusively to Camera Lucida, or mentioned it first among other books, or at least mentioned it second (the latter I counted as half a point, if a fully dedicated page were to receive a full point). It came out that 20 pages out of 100 gave the pride of the place to Camera Lucida – which is definitely a result that confirms my intuitive feeling about this book’s privileged position in today’s reception of Barthes’ oeuvre. Also, along the way I

Andy Stafford’s “intellectual biography” of Barthes, entitled Roland Barthes: Phenomenon and Myth, highlights the difference between the writer as a “phenomenon,” the sum of givens of his texts and biography, and the history of “how the reading public had ‘consumed’ [the writer], how the ‘myth’ of [the writer] had been constructed" (5). Stafford, in his turn, borrows this pattern of analysis from Barthes himself, who recognized such discrepancy to exist concerning Arthur Rimbaud, in “Phenomenon or myth?” (Mythologies 952, quoted in Stafford, 5)


2 discovered that the Amazon sells more copies of Camera Lucida than of any other Barthes title – and this even on its own is a convincing finding. These public preferences, or one could say elementary myths about Barthes, are probably only relevant in the English-speaking intellectual community, since my searches were conducted only in English, whereas on the French-speaking literary and theoretical “market” the picture might be different (e.g. the Barthes bestseller in France, at least some time ago, was Fragments of the Lovers’ Discourse – while, in tune with the English-speaking scene, Jacques Derrida’s essay “The Deaths of Roland Barthes” in The Work of Mourning reinforces the connection between the two Barthes works in question). Yet, to the extent that critical theory is “happening” in English, which is to say to a very great extent, Barthes’ influence can be measured and described according to the “myths” about him which are current among the Englishspeaking public. Why did these two works by Barthes gain such prominence? I will examine some of the historical, ideological, biographical and symbolic reasons that might have led to setting them aside, and explore the implications of the “myth” that puts them in binary opposition to each other. The Role of "The Death of the Author"as a 1968 Manifesto As my readers probably will agree, and as I have often read and heard in various nutshell introductions of Roland Barthes and tried to “statistically” confirm above, he is known as “the theorist who had killed the Author” – or in any case announced the Author’s death to a great public effect in 1968, when, according to an anonymous saying quoted by Annette Lavers, “the structures took to the streets” (21). The date itself of the article’s publication, for those who care about its date (a twentyyear-old student might not immediately perceive anything special about it), is also part of the myth. [find Burke’s reference to the woman who tells about the actual history of publication and 1967 – it’s in the Yale Journal of Criticism]. The spirit of "The Death of the Author" powerfully resonated with the revolutionary moods of the moment. Sean Burke in his illuminating book The Death and Return of the Author also stresses the revolutionary impetus behind Barthes’ article. According to Burke, though, by the time Barthes writes this, there is no one to kill: [quote him on this, exactly]. Burke says that Barthes has to rebuild the powerful figure of the realist Author to a stature it does not have any more by the time he is writing the article, in order to demolish this figure to a greater effect. I would say that Burke presents Barthes’ gesture as a sort of a ritual, resembling the burning of a scarecrow of winter at the Maslenitsa holiday, which celebrates the coming of spring (just a few weeks before any actual signs of spring appear): as theatrical but also as ineffective, having little force of its own to bring in the spring, which comes for totally different reasons. According to Burke, “[o]ne has to be deeply auteurist at heart to call for the Death of the Author” at the historical point at which Barthes does it (27). But this is only true for the English-speaking scene, the one Burke seems chiefly to have in mind, where New Criticism and other modernist approaches to literature had been reigning in the academy for several decades by that time; in France as late as the 1960s the official academic philology still was largely hostile to the "nouvelle critique," which was an umbrella term for all the critical approaches that dissented from the cult of the Author prevailing at the Sorbonne. Moreover, less than two years before his famous manifesto, in 1965, Barthes had received a thorough public "whipping" from Raymond Picard, a Sorbonne literature professor, which was practically a punishment for not being “auteurist.” Picard’s publication was entitled Nouvelle critique ou

3 nouvelle imposture?, and while it centered on Barthes’s study On Racine (since Picard was a Racine scholar), it also denounced the “new” (psychoanalytic, structuralist, Marxist, phenomenological) literary criticism as a collective intellectual fraud, a set of practices unified by nothing aside from pretensiousness, snobbery, use of cryptic jargon and contempt for critical plausibility, objectivity, clarity and taste (these four features were later isolated by Barthes himself out of the stream of Picard’s denunciations). The majority of French and some Belgian organs of press enthusiastically greeted Picard’s publication, which resulted in a kind of a public execution, reported and analysed by Barthes at the opening of his response, Criticism and Truth, which came out in 1966. If one looks at “The Death of the Author” against this background, it stops appearing like an attack directed at a straw man. Michael Moriarty expresses what I sense to be a widespread notion about this essay:
‘La mort de l’auteur’ in some sense marks the culmination of Barthes’s critique of the ideology of the institution of Literature [characteristic of his ‘structuralist’ period] with its twin columns of mimesis and the author. Yet in its style and its conceptualization of the status of writing and of theory, it clearly marks a break with the structuralist phase. (102)

While certainly agreeing with Moriarty about the transitional, threshold position of this essay, and about its marking a certain peak point in Barthes’ career, I still see two reasons why this article is not representative of what Barthes was doing at the earlier structuralist stage, or in fact, at any point. First, it is heavily aporetic, in a more obvious way than, one might say, Barthes' writing often is. And second, this article betrays, in a rather ironic but predictable way (predictable for someone who is familiar with Barthes' theories), his lifelong commitment to freedom, the freedom of thought from myth. The Aporia of "The Death of the Author" In an amusing angry non-summary of this article, Steve Schroer takes to the extreme a point regularly made by critics of Barthes2 : “’The Death of the Author’ blows itself to pieces.” He tries to start out: “According to Barthes – no, I must not say ‘according to Barthes’. Moreover, I must not say "I"; or if I do, I must acknowledge that as soon as I write the pronoun, it ceases to bear any relation to the extra-textual human being who wrote it: ‘Writing is that . . . space . . . where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body writing’." 3 “I don’t see how I can possibly be expected to summarize it,” concludes Schroer. Michael Moriarty, with a much more serious and patient approach to this article, comes to a similar conclusion:
The structure of the essay is fragmentary, articulated by no linear logic. It gives its own reason why this might be so: the linear utterance seems to suggest the unfolding of a single message towards a predestined conclusion; an eschatological, theological model (the New Testament completes the sense of the Old; the Last Day reveals the significance of all human history). The fragment, on the contrary, prevents the discourse cohering into the continuous utterance of a single subject; it de-authorizes discourse. … The fragmentary structure keeps the signifier on top, where it belongs, prevents an ultimate meaning from arriving to close down its operations. (101)


E.g. Margit Sutrop and Donald Keefer’s respective articles in Philosophy and Literature. http://mh.cla.umn.edu/ebibss5.html


4 But the fact that this article has powerfully shaped the public image of Barthes as someone who proclaimed a concrete event, “the death of the author,” and celebrated a fairly concrete future where the reader will supplant the writer, shows that Barthes’ writing here is not so immune from cohering into a single line of argument with a single message, at least for those who are not so well aware of the importance of fragmentation. I think that a consistent and not inaccurate summary of this article is certainly possible. Barthes’ argument takes start with a quote from Balzac’s “Sarrazine,” where it is clearly not clear who or what is the source of a string of conventional descriptions of femininity. It may or may not be the main character, or Balzac the author, or any of such structures as “the ‘literary’ ideas of femininity,” “universal wisdom” or “Romantic psychology” (61). Barthes considers this as an example of how the writer’s individual voice is irretrievably lost in the text. Moreover, such individual voice may not be at all a relevant concept to describe literary (or para-literary) writing: Barthes proposes an analogy between the writer and a shaman or an oral storyteller, who only “performs,” plays out preexisting structures of meaning, or cultural vocabularies, and crediting him as the “source” of his text is nothing natural or universal but rather, highly characteristic of the capitalist, individualist society. Moreover, he shows that in the work of Mallarmé, Proust and the Surrealist writers the myth of the Author has been already greatly undermined, partly anticipating Sean Burke’s objection that Barthes is not the first one to challenge the authority of the Author. He further says that it is the Author as the ultimate goal of interpretation that he objects against. And the main target of his objection is the auteurist critique which congratulates itself on an intellectual victory when it succeeds to reduce a text to the intentions/ psychology/ sociohistorical situation of its author, to say “this is the meaning of this text, this explains it.” Barthes sees this, with reason, as “arresting” the meaning of the text – with all the unpleasant police-related connotations of this word. What is more, he takes the gesture of removal of the Author (as the ultimate explanation of the text) onto a more general plane, denying any single “secret” that the text would contain and the competent critic could ultimately discover. This liberating denial, he concludes, is necessary to “give the writing its future,” to make way for “the birth of the reader” (67) 4 . If Barthes’ argument makes sense, where is the aporia, or at least the logical inconsistencies? I think they are lodged in the most extreme, radical, rhetorically catching statements that this article culminates in, and that give it its revolutionary pitch. By polemically denying any importance to the writer’s subjective agency, when saying that the internal world of the writer that she might believe she were expressing is “nothing else but a dictionary all composed already” (65), Barthes makes his statement emphatic and memorable, but also aporetic: is Barthes himself, then, expressing nothing, when he writes this article? Is his pathos of renewal merely picked up at random, without his subjective participation, from a “dictionary” of pathoi, his message – from a “dictionary” of messages? Does it mean absolutely nothing, then, that the reading public has received and remembered this pathos and this message as unique, new, Barthes’ own? 5
All the quotations from "La morth de l'auteur" are in my translation from Barthes' French text as it appears in Le Bruissement de la langue. 5 Derrida proposes a beatiful solution of this dilemma of self-expression vs. choice of readymade linguistic items: he says that Barthes would always choose the word that would be precisely right for him, the way one chooses a ready-made garment in a shop, one garment out of many that suits and expresses the chooser best (39-40).

5 There are some other problematic moments as well in Barthes’ argument, such as his referring to the linguistic science as some ultimate authority that has now finally demonstrated how “all enunciation is an empty process, that functions perfectly without it being necessary to fill it in by the persons of interlocutors” (63). By saying it in such an emphatic form Barthes actually mythologizes linguistics and gives a universal – and somewhat demagogic – sweep to a statement by Emile Benveniste that he more fully and adequately, and to much less public effect, quotes elsewhere (“Écrire, un verb intrasitif” 26). By positing the new nascent reader as “the place where [the text’s] multiplicity reassembles itself,” where “all the citations from which writing is made reinscribe themselves, without even one getting lost” (66), he sets up an unrealistic plank, unattainable for any real reader – the concept of implied reader would help here, but Wolfgang Iser hadn’t come up with it yet by that time. Yet, if Barthes were to limit his statement to a theoretical, abstract “implied reader,” all its revolutionary momentum would have been lost, because you don’t need to fight for the abstract reader inscribed in the text, you don’t have to overturn real-world authorities, you don’t have to call for action – this “reader” is already there anyway. But to come back to the main aporia of this article, it is in its assertion that the author’s individual “thinking, suffering, living” for his text, “parenting” the text, presence in the text, are obsolete or, more precisely, have to be considered irrelevant. So present is Barthes with his passionate, political preferences and commitments in this article, that his talking about the author’s disappearance becomes most manifestly aporetic. Insofar as the reader senses Barthes’ intense rejection of the ‘auteurist’ literary school and his enthusiasm for the coming new age of reading, it is exactly to the same degree that Barthes’ message about the absense of the author and the unimportance of the author’s message is undermined. (The fact that Barthes’ article is not a literary work is no impediment to saying this, since he states at one point that between literary and non-literary writing, “distinctions are becoming invalidated,” p. 63.) Annette Lavers, who is a very matter-of-fact, unsentimental reader of Barthes, nevertheless finds it important to remark on how she likes his textual presence, as opposed to the writings of those who actually believed in “the death of the author”:
One survival tactic [in the ever-accelerating change of “publishing waves”], not available to Barthes himself, has been the development of the new torrential kind of writing style. At first a reaction to the Medusa-like fascination of the all-conquering Structure, … [t]his writing seeks to be both sensuous and to exhibit the ‘logic of the signifier’, the very law of the uncoscious which, as was shown by Freud and exemplified by Lacan, is and indefatigable and tasteless punster. These Joycean practices have undoubtedly increased the general awareness of the reality and resources of the material side of language and what it reveals about the workings of the mind; but they often seem very mechanical in contrast with Barthes’ inspired and subtle effects. (23-4, italics mine)

“Sous les pierres, la plage” To approach my second point of objection to "The Death of the Author," it will be helpful to consider Barthes' earlier work and see what its main pathos was, what inspired Barthes to criticize the bourgeois mythologies and what gave him strength for the meticulous, almost unrealistically detailed examination of cultural and textual realities. If one looks at Mythologies, On Racine, or even such later works as S/Z and Sade, Fourier, Loyola, what unites them is a devotion to the material, visual or textual given, to what-is-out-there to be noticed. This devotion was reflected, for instance, in Barthes’ enthusiasm for Brecht’s theatre, with its literal faithfulness to the

6 way things and persons look in real life. “In Brecht's theatre, if a chicken were to be plucked the actor did not mime or roughly approximate the action – the chicken was plucked.” 6 The same faithfulness to the authentic look of things made Barthes admire Brecht’s stage costumes, in opposition to the pretentious aestheticism of the French directors (“Diseases of the Theatre Costume”). Of course no one can be more careful than Barthes in constantly recognizing that “reality” cannot be seen or made sense of outside of all codes – yet at the same time he is constantly struggling against all codes that can be possibly seen beyond (in other words, the “myths”), that have superimposed themselves over the more elementary, and thus less ideologically structured and restrictive, first-level code of language. Myth in Barthes’ system is a signifying superstructure above language, built by specific political forces in society, that directs and restricts one’s view of the world in a more tight, rigid and ideologically colored way than the more basic structures of language do. I would define Barthes’ lifelong effort – even though most of his readers do not see him making any consistent lifelong effort – in “unpaving” the familiar trottoirs of thought and looking under the bricks of myth to find a different, less (expectedly) structured, more authentic and more genuinely pleasurable reality. I think the 1968 motto of Parisian students barricading in the Latin Quarter and picking out pavement stones to throw at the police would also make a nice motto for Barthes’ coat of arms: “Sous les pierres, la plage” – there is beach under the stones. In Camera Lucida, Barthes explicitly states his lifelong commitment to the politics of freedom of writing and thought: he admits to
a discomfort I had always suffered from: the uneasiness of being a subject torn between two languages, one expressive, the other critical; and at the heart of this critical language, between several discourses, those of sociology, of semiology, and of psychoanalysis – but that, by ultimate dissatisfaction with all of them, I was bearing witness to the only sure thing that was in me (however naïve it might be): a desperate resistance to any reductive system. For each time, having resorted to any such language to whatever degree, each time I felt it hardening and thereby tending to reduction and reprimand, I would gently leave and seek elsewhere: I began to speak differently. (Camera Lucida 8)

This gives a positive sense to his elusiveness and ambivalence with regard to the ideas, systems of thought, and ideologies that he played with during his life, and that his readers and critics are often baffled or disappointed with (e.g., this attitude is addressed in the first chapter of Culler’s Roland Barthes). Even such apparently apolitical and clear-sighted discourses as sociology, psychoanalysis or semiology (largely his own creation) would eventually prove too limiting, one could say too myth-ridden, for Barthes to be happy with. Now, what happens in – or with – “The Death of the Author” is precisely the “hardening,” the ideological congealing of discourse that Barthes always tried to avoid. This article elevates Barthes’ pursuit of discursive freedom into a definite and radical statement – there is no Author, no God, no ground on which the text could rest. No, full stop. And this is where it immediately becomes dogmatic, and available for teaching, learning and reproducing. At last Barthes could be caught at his word, available for paving another convenient path of myth. Camera Lucida as "The Final Word from Barthes" Being the last book that Barthes published in his lifetime, and also its utopic aspiration towards a possibility of communication without a code, made Camera

“The Influence of Brecht,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 1995.

7 Lucida stand out in Barthes’ heritage. As Andy Stafford shows in Roland Barthes, Phenomenon and Myth, this book was part of Barthes’ effort to start a “new life” and write in a new way after the death of his mother – a new life consisting in writing about his life, making it the main material of his writing (Stafford 214-8). Jacques Derrida’s special attention to this book, in “The Deaths of Roland Barthes,” had certainly contributed to the constitution of its fame, and also to establishing the connection between Camera Lucida and “The Death of the Author.” The connection Derrida creates is a very deep and poetical one, when he describes Camera Lucida as a book “whose time and tempo accompanied [Barthes’] death as no other book, I believe, has ever kept watch over its author” (36). This book is hard to place; in our university library, I had to climb to the fifth floor where literature on technology is stored, because it was classified as a book on the technology of photography. (In fact, Barthes begins with admitting that he never photographed, being "too impatient" for that). Does Camera Lucida break with Barthes’ earlier theoretical beliefs, by saying that in the photograph “the referent always adheres,” that “the photograph is literally an emanation of its referent” (80)? This goes against the grain of the fundamental (post-)structuralist idea that a sign is by definition separate from, marks the absence of its referent. The latter notion, though, perhaps paradoxically, is fully there in Camera Lucida, since Barthes makes an extended association between photography and death. Or, if Barthes in this book is trying – and failing – to do the impossible, as Derrida argues, in speaking about his mother while defending her particularity and uniqueness from the inescapable symbolization and generalization that language involves – then it might be an illustration, a final practical testing of Barthes’ theoretical concerns (as suggested by Graham Allen in the article on Camera Lucida in the online Literary Encyclopedia). I would suggest that this book could be seen as a culmination of Barthes’ career in that it finally brings into close theoretical focus the detailed and devoted attention to what is out there which marked Barthes’ work throughout his lifetime. In Camera Lucida it takes shape as the photograph’s faithfulness to the thatness, the unique, particular, not-yet-signifying being of every concrete thing, person and event. “In the photograph, the event is never transcended for the sake of something else: the photograph … is the absolute Particular, the sovereign Contingency, matte and somehow stupid, the This (this photograph and not Photography)…” (4). The way Barthes looks at photographs, there is no proper place in them for code, they are the place, among all places on the surface of paper, among representations, where one can find refuge from the crushing pressure of the code, expropriating and dissolving both the one who uses it, the author, and the other, whom the author tries to preserve from death by inscribing in language, by representing. Photography gives us the world before it is captured and de-particularized by language. Another concept Barthes uses to describe what photograph is about is Lacan’s notion of the Real (Camera Lucida 4) – what is there before it becomes displaced, absented or “perverted” by language. One could also think in this light about the caption that Barthes gives to the crucial photograph of his mother, central to the book and not reproduced in it: “The Winter Garden” photograph. His mother appears on this photograph as a child of about five years old, by the side of her elder brother, in a conservatory full of plants that couldn’t possibly grow outdoors – is this not an Edenic setting, before the serpent destroyed its innocence by speech? – no matter how obviously artificial, a bourgeois oasis created in the midst of winter. The following quote clarifies the connection between the innocent, Edenic status of the photograph among other kinds of representation, and the "escape" from or reduction

8 of language, which the photograph can be imagined to be using only in the most elementary, childish way:
Buddhism says sunya, void; but better still: tathata, as Alan Watts has it, the fact of being this, of being thus, of being so; tat means that in Sanskrit and suggests the gesture of the child pointing his finger at something and saying: that, there it is, lo! but says nothing else; the photograph cannot be transformed (spoken) philosophically, it is wholly ballasted by the contingency of which it is a weightless, transparent envelope. (5)

It seems that the most transparent, “pure” or “innocent” state to which language can attain is the pure deictic pronoun, “that,” “there” – which requires or presupposes the interlocutors’ presence to each other and to the object of their discussion – a situation fulfilled almost ideally by two people over an album of photographs, second only to the actual presence in the room of all those people, all that life which is represented on the photographs, but giving those who look through the album the advantage of being the only “I” and “you” in the room, with all the others given to them on the photographs securely in the third person. For me, Camera Lucida (as well as Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes) approximates a utopic situation of the author and myself being present to each other, over an album of photographs, the author pointing to this house or that face that have been part of his life. But the passage quoted above attains to an even greater intensity, an almost religious pathos, in its tension between the unstructured “void” that precedes and follows meaningful speech, and an emergence out of the void of a single, complete, particular object as a result of a child, or a photograph, having merely pointed it out – with no reason for pointing it out that we could be sure of. It reminds me intensely of James Joyce's notion of epiphany as outlined in Stephen Hero, a draft version of A Portait of the Artist as a Young Man:.
First we recognise that the object is one integral thing, then we recognise that it is an organised composite structure, a thing in fact: finally, when the relation of the parts is exquisite, when the parts are adjusted to the special point, we recognise that it is that thing which it is. Its soul, its whatness, leaps to us from the vestment of its appearance. The soul of the commonest object, the structure of which is so adjusted, seems to us radiant. The object achieves its epiphany. (Joyce 190)

Joyce’s protagonist is working out his own aesthetic theory – which is likely to have been Joyce’s own aesthetic theory at that point – and it culminates in a religious notion of epiphany. The short stories of Dubliners, that Joyce wrote between Stephen Hero and its later version, A Portrait of the Artist, are governed by the impulse, desire, or method, of rendering full, complete attention each time to that one thing – something or someone in Dublin life that reveals itself to him in its “thatness,” in the full radiance of its particularity. To conclude, it is indeed possible to establish and play out a rich and deconstructible binary opposition between “The Death of the Author” and Camera Lucida, as, one could say for instance, the most political vs. the most lyrical “faces” of Barthes. For me, the article opposes itself to the book in that it denies all contact and all desire for contact with the author’s subjectivity in the text, and underplays subjectivity in general (for instance, and importantly, in its reduction – or unrealistic elevation – of the real reader to a stature of an ideal one). The book, as opposed to this, seeks for a most direct, unmediated, non-coded (analogue) touch of the other subjectivity through a representation: because of the author’s longing for the presence of his mother, the photograph’s indissoluble attachment to its referent becomes an ideal to be desired for in other modes of representation, first of all in writing. In the article, Barthes asserts a total sway of the code over the individual expression – language makes an individual “voice” unrecognizable among other “voices” that mix

9 in in the process of expression, and what is more, the source of this individual voice is not beyond language, the article asserts that there is no expression beyond compilation. In the book, there is an intense longing for freedom from code; the photographic image is “literally an emanation of its referent”: the rays of light that once were reflected from the thing or person I see on the photograph are passed to me in just the same substance, as reflected rays of light, only deferred by chemical transformations in the silver-containing layer. Barthes uses the incredibly beautiful metaphor by Susan Sontag that these rays are like rays of a star that reach you after the star has ceased to be (80-1). In opposition to “The Death of the Author,” the aspiration of Camera Lucida is towards actually touching the other person through the paper, by the “touch” of eyesight. Yet since this article is already completed, my framework of binary opposition between these two works can now be thrown away, so that we can read Barthes, hopefully, with more naked eyes

10 WORKS CITED Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981. ----- “ -----. “Écrire, verb intransitif.” Le Bruissement de la langue. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1984. 21-31. ----- “ -----. “La mort de l’auteur.” Le Bruissement de la langue. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1984. 61-67. Burke, Sean. The Death and Return of the Author: Criticism and Subjectivity in Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. Culler, Jonathan. “Man of Parts.” Barthes. London: Fontana Press, 1983. 9-23. Derrida, Jacques. “The Deaths of Roland Barthes.” The Work of Mourning. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2001. 34-67. Joyce, James. Stephen Hero. Eds. John J. Slocum and Herbert Cahoon. New York: New Directions, 1963. Keefer, Donald. “The Reports of the Death of the Author.” Philosophy and Literature 19:1 (1995): 78-84. Lavers, Annette. Roland Barthes: Structuralism and After. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1982. Moriarty, Michael. Roland Barthes. Cambridge, UK: Polilty Press, 1991. Stafford, Andy. Roland Barthes, Phenomenon and Myth: An Intellectual Biography. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful