Barthes and Utopia: Space, Travel, Writing (Hardback)
  • Barthes and Utopia: Space, Travel, Writing (Hardback)
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Barthes and Utopia: Space, Travel, Writing (Hardback)

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£227.50
Hardback 298 Pages / Published: 16/01/1997
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Barthes and Utopia explores the central role of utopias throughout the work of Roland Barthes, from demystification to structuralism, from textuality and sexual hedonism to his final preoccupation with love and mourning. Utopia mediates the supposed phases of Barthes career, just as it mediates the two sides of his work which are often misleadingly separated: his political and ethical concerns (his desire to invent social values for the world), and his creative project of writing. In short, to take detours via hypothetical utopias was Barthes's way of writing the world. Diana knight follows him through the everyday spaces of Mythologies, through euphoric visions of the city, through the semiological and sexual utopias of the `orient', to the metaphorical south-west of his childhood and the writerly, maternal spaces of his late work. The range of texts studied in Barthes and Utopia is unusually wide, and incorporates discussion of the plans for his so-called Vita Nova-Barthes's final, mysterious writing project. Barthes and Utopia takes us to the heart of Barthes's imaginative processes, of his affective world and idiosyncratic value system. But, because Utopia is the meeting point of Barthes's lifelong concern with the relationship between history, language, and sexuality, this study also inserts Barthes's work into larger political and theoretical concerns, in particular into ongoing debates around Orientalism and homosexuality.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198158899
Number of pages: 298
Weight: 502 g
Dimensions: 224 x 144 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
One of the special merits of the book is the meticulous attention to detail ... Our understanding of well-known texts is renewed by careful analysis of apparently marginal pieces. Subtle intertextual relationships are charted with great delicacy ... the care, the patient attentiveness with which she handles the text of Barthes, has in itself something of a utopian dimension. All readers, in the true sense, of Barthes will be in her debt. * Michael Moriarty, Queen Mary and Westfield College, MLR, Vol 93, no 3, 1998 *
opens up the strands and phases of Barthe's own writings afresh by offering a net concept in which the many familiar topics may enter into new exchanges * Forum for Modern Language Studies 35:4 1999 *
If it is possible, then, this study of Barthes's version of utopia helps to underline the contradiction (what Bartes sometimes called the 'blockage' in history. * Andy Stafford Lancaster University Modern and Contempory France Journal 1998 *
thorough and engrossing...fine book * Michael Lucey, Modern Philology *
Knight shows surehandedly what a rich territory the "late Barthes" remains * Michael Lucey, Modern Philology *
The importance of this book extends beyond the not inconsiderable circles of Barthes readers, and should be indispensable reading for anyone interested in the intellectual and cultural configuring of the fabric of the social, of space and the theorizations of what is at stake in the writing of it. * French Cultural Studies *
Knight's book is a major event in scholarship on Barthes, as well as an efficient and complex introduction to his work * French Studies *

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