Roland Barthes, La Mort de l'auteur [The Death of the Author]

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“The Death of the Author” is easily Roland Barthes’ best known text. A short essay of just seven pages, it is hard to overstate the impact it has had on literary criticism in the English-speaking world and beyond. It routinely features in the reading lists of courses which introduce students to the foundational concepts of twentieth-century literary theory, and its central ideas have been rehearsed and adapted by many writers, artists and thinkers since its initial publication in English in the avant-garde American journal


in 1967. The essay was then published in the French journal


in 1968, before being re-published in English in the collection of Barthes,

Image, Music, Text

, ed. and trans. Stephen Heath, London: Fontana, 1977. The essay has gained this status because…

2279 words

Citation: O' Sullivan, Maria. "La Mort de l'auteur". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 May 2013 [, accessed 23 February 2024.]

10350 La Mort de l'auteur 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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