TABLE OF CONTENTS

books

Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary: October 26, 1977–September 15, 1979, translated by Richard Howard. New York: Hill & Wang, 2010. 272 pages; Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, translated by Richard Howard. New York: Hill & Wang, 2010. 256 pages; Roland Barthes, Incidents, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan. New York: Seagull Books, 2010. 184 pages.

“HOW CAN YOU LIKE THAT SILLY HOMOSEXUAL?”

So Helen Vendler sets the scene for her defense of Roland Barthes, six years after his death in 1980, with the question she was asked “by an eminent literary critic in tones of impatience and revulsion, when [she] ventured to praise Barthes’s hymn to reading, The Pleasure of the Text (1973).” She continues: “The remark manifested, besides homophobia, a suspicion that Barthes was ‘not serious.’ Barthes knew that les gens sérieux excluded him from the inner circle of their company. . . . ” Vendler

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