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Reading through photography: Roland Barthes’s last seminar “Proust et la photographie”

Yacavone, Kathrin

Authors

Kathrin Yacavone Kathrin.Yacavone@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Focused on Roland Barthes’s notes for the last seminar of his Collège de France lecture series, entitled “Proust et la photographie,” this article considers the later Barthes’s conceptions of reading and writing, arguing that they are closely intertwined with his reflections on photography. Marcel Proust is cast as the paradigmatic author in Barthes’s post-1968 critical writing, in which he serves as both an exemplar for the complex process of transforming life into literature and as a figure of profound identification for Barthes the would-be novelist. À la recherche du temps perdu is a clear case of a literary work informed by its author’s life that at the same time denies or problematises straightforward autobiography. For Barthes the experience and study of Proust’s masterpiece entails a play with autobiographical ‘clefs’ that can be considered an activity on the part of Barthes’s pleasure-seeking reader, one that has significant theoretical implications regarding the apprehension of any literary text. As analysis of “Proust et la photographie” and La Chambre claire reveals, the photograph for Barthes signifies the oscillation between the imaginary and the real, fiction and (auto)biography, that characterises both literary authorship and readership.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2009
Journal French Forum
Print ISSN 0098-9355
Electronic ISSN 0098-9355
Publisher University of Nebraska Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 1
Institution Citation Yacavone, K. (2009). Reading through photography: Roland Barthes’s last seminar “Proust et la photographie”. French Forum, 34(1), doi:10.1353/frf.0.0064
DOI https://doi.org/10.1353/frf.0.0064
Keywords Barthes, Proust, Photography, Authorship
Publisher URL http://muse.jhu.edu/article/315409/pdf
Related Public URLs http://ff.pennpress.org/home/
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information Yacavone, K. "Reading through Photography: Roland Barthes's Last Seminar "Proust et la photographie"." French Forum, vol. 34 no. 1, 2009, pp. 97-112. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/frf.0.0064 c2009 French Forum, Inc.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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