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Barthes, Roland (Author); Krauss, Rosalind & Holier, Dennis (Translators). THE NEUTRAL: LECTURE COURSE AT THE COLLEGE DE FRANCE 1977-1978 (EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES: A SERIES IN SOCIAL THOUGHT AND CULTURAL CRITICISM). New York City, NY: Columbia University Press, 2005. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 282 pages. As New/As New.

Posthumous book-length transcription of the author's legendary College de France lecture. One of the greatest texts in Roland Barthes' oeuvre. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. The First Edition is now very scarce. Presents and describes "The Neutral", the subject of a landmark series of lectures Barthes delivered at the College de France two years before his sudden death. "As Barthes describes it, The Neutral escapes or undoes the paradigmatic binary oppositions that produce meaning in Western thought and discourse. These binaries are found in all aspects of human society ranging from language to sexuality to politics. For Barthes, the attempt to escape from these binaries has profound ethical, philosophical, and linguistic implications. Centers around 23 'figures', also referred to as 'traits' that are possible embodiments of The Neutral (sleep, silence, tact) or The Anti-Neutral (anger, arrogance, conflict). His lectures draw on a diverse set of authors and intellectual traditions, including Lao-tzu, Tolstoy, German mysticism, Classical philosophy, Rousseau, Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, and John Cage. Barthes' idiosyncratic approach to his subjects gives the lectures a playful, personal, and even joyous quality. As Barthes admits, the recent death of his mother and the idea of mourning shaped his lectures" (Publisher's blurb). A workaholic to the very end who tried to turn his private pain into something positive, useful, and life-affirming for others, Barthes gives us a tour-de-force, farewell performance, a "powerful lesson about the balanced, engaged life" that is "so ample, so warm, so unembarrassed, so alive" (Wayne Koestenbaum). An absolute "must-have" title for Roland Barthes completists. This title has been out-of-print for a very long time and is now highly collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Most copies available online have major flaws. A rare copy thus. The greatest European culture critic of our time. A flawless collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ROLAND BARTHES TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0231134045. $150.00

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