Roland Barthes: Le Plaisir du texte [The Pleasure of the Text] (2745 words)

  • Lucy O’Meara (University of Kent at Canterbury)

Le Plaisir du texte (Paris: Seuil, 1973; trans. Richard Howard, New York: Hill and Wang, 1975) can be viewed as the first text of Barthes’s “late” period. His first book-length text after the astonishing S/Z, Le Plaisir du texte revisits some of that text’s concerns regarding the reader’s production of meaning. Its focus on the moment of reading and its use of a dual paradigm (of which more below) echo, to some extent, the rationale and methodology of S/Z. Hand-in-hand with this, of course, there is the implicit assumption that the author as source of authority, or, as Barthes puts it here, “the author as institution”, is dead: by 1973, …

O’Meara, Lucy. "Le Plaisir du texte". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 August 2005
[, accessed 27 March 2017.]

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