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Barthes, Roland (Translated by Richard Howard). ROLAND BARTHES BY ROLAND BARTHES. New York City, NY: Hill And Wang, 1977. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 186 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's second autobiographical writing. One of the greatest books of the 20th century. The second book in the final and greatest work by Roland Barthes, the trilogy that he began with "A Lover's Discourse: Fragments" (1977) and concluded with "Camera Lucida: Reflections On Photography" (1980, published posthumously in English in 1981). The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Roland Barthes' profoundly personal confessions about his life. Since that sounds like the "tell-all" memoir (which it is not), it is important to clarify what Barthes' book is: A revelation in the coolly detached French/Continental intellectual mode, where every concrete detail is intimately described to amplify a larger, abstract idea. It is, to borrow Sartre's inimitable phrase, "the observer in the act of observing". "Never before has Barthes spoken so freely, so joyously, precisely when he speaks so strictly, so severely about 'him'. Barthes is first and foremost, a writer, a man for whom the imaginative manipulation of language affords the means of life, the justification of his existence, the articulation of his identity" (Richard Howard). Discretion, elegance, and subtlety set Barthes' book apart from the vulgar memoir, especially of the Anglo-American kind. The more Barthes tells us about himself, the more distant he becomes. The more Barthes reveals to us about himself, the more we realize how little we can ever really know him or ourselves. So why bother to write and to read? To liberate oneself from the limits of "formal" writing in order to re-invent writing as a work of the highest achievement, lyricism, and beauty. Therein lies his trilogy's greatness and wisdom. An absolute "must-have" title for Roland Barthes collectors. This title is now highly collectible. This is one of extremely few copies of the First American Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. It is the single most beautiful copy we have ever found. A rare copy thus. The greatest European culture critic of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ROLAND BARTHES TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0809082454. $200.00

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