Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes

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Mourning Diary is fascinating as a precursor to his last work, though, by itself, it stands as a monument to Barthes’ sensitivity to experience and any meaning to be drawn from it. Anyone who has suffered depression will experience the shock of recognition in these pages.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A major discovery: The lost diary of a great mind—and an intimate, deeply moving study of grief



The day after his mother's death in October 1977, the influential philosopher Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning. Taking notes on index cards as was his habit, he reflected on a new solitude, on the ebb and flow of sadness, and on modern society's dismissal of grief. These 330 cards, published here for the first time, prove a skeleton key to the themes he tackled throughout his work. Behind the unflagging mind, "the most consistently intelligent, important, and useful literary critic to have emerged anywhere" (Susan Sontag), lay a deeply sensitive man who cherished his mother with a devotion unknown even to his closest friends.




 

About Roland Barthes

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Roland Barthes (1915–1980) was a French literary theorist, philosopher, and critic. He influenced the development of various schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, and post-structuralism.
 
Published October 12, 2010 by Hill and Wang. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

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Reviewed by Michel Basilieres on Oct 29 2010

Mourning Diary is fascinating as a precursor to his last work, though, by itself, it stands as a monument to Barthes’ sensitivity to experience and any meaning to be drawn from it. Anyone who has suffered depression will experience the shock of recognition in these pages.

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