Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
With Photographs by Bishan Samaddar
6 x 7.5 inches, 186pp. September 2010
ISBN : 9781906497590
Rs 750.00 (PB)
French philosopher and literary theorist Roland Barthes was one of the leading influences on the post-structuralist movement in twentieth-century literary thought, and some of his best-known works, like S/Z, speak directly to the essential and individual relationship between a reader and a literary text. In Incidents, readers have the privilege of going inside the life and thought of Barthes, through a book that is a testament to Barthes’ belief that a literary work should invite the full, active participation of the reader.
The essays collected in Incidents, originally published in French shortly after Barthes’ death, provide unique insight into the author’s life, his personal struggles, and his delights. Though Barthes questioned the act of keeping a journal with the aim of having it published, he decided to undertake a diary-like experiment in four parts. The first, which gives the collection its title, is a revealing personal account of his time living in Morocco. The second, “The Light of the Southwest,” is an ode to Barthes’ favorite region in France, while in “At Le Palace Tonight,” Barthes describes a vibrant Paris night spot. Finally, the journal entries of “Evenings in Paris” reveal Barthes as an older gay man, struggling with his desire for young lovers.
Rendered here in a lyrical new translation alongside the striking photographs of Bishan Samaddar, Incidents will delight fans of Barthes’ other works, as well as anyone curious for a look inside the mind of one of the twentieth century’s foremost intellectuals.
Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in semiotics and lexicology. He was a professor at the Collège de France until his death in 1980.
One of the most influential critics and philosophers of the twentieth century. His works include Mythologies, S/Z, A Lover’s Discourse, and Camera Lucida.
Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator who has published over 20 translations, including J. M. G. Le Clézio's The Mexican Dream (1993) and Roland Barthes' Incidents(2010). She has also translated Meur's novel House of Shadows.