Roland Barthes: S/Z

(2519 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

S/Z is Roland Barthes's most important and certainly his most sustained critical analysis of a literary text. Barthes's study has had a major impact on literary criticism in the English-speaking world (English version, S/Z, trans. Richard Miller, New York: Hill and Wang, 1974) despite the fact that its particular mode of critical practice lies outside of any strictly repeatable or imitable model of reading. S/Z is also a landmark text within the history of modern literary theory, lying as it does precisely at the borderline between structuralism and post-structuralism. Barthes during the 1960s had been deeply involved in the project to establish a structural analysis of narrative (see “Introduction to the …

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Allen, Graham. "S/Z". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]