PRINT April 1982


Camera Lucida

THROUGH THE VOLUMINOUS body of his critical undertaking, Roland Barthes single-handedly transformed not only the language of Modern criticism, but its method, scope, and application as well. His essays published during the last three decades are now considered classics, and range broadly in style and subject matter from the rigorous structural critique of language in its formal aspect in his semiological writings, to the free-flowing and discursive exploration of its various forms and specific texts. In addition to literature, Barthes’ conception of “language,” and hence his field of inquiry, expanded to include an array of other expressive forms—not only photography, film, music, and painting, but also, as early as 1953, such relatively uncharted domains as advertising, fashion, and design. Radical in his creative as well as in his scientific approach to language, Roland Barthes was an

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