Highly original, extremely fertile and inventive, [Barthes] really does represent, in a peculiarly qualified way, a new kind of writing, and he continually discovers new ways of writing about writing... It is a remarkable book * New York Times Book Review * Anyone who saw [Barthes] as only the stern structuralist, dissecting signs, symbols and systems, must have missed the personal touches that would eventually burst into the open in his weird and wonderful anti-autobiography which begins with the announcement that its contents must all be considered as if spoken by a character in a novel and proceeds to jump from first to second to third person, accumulating scenes and lists and essay fragment * Telegraph * Though Barthes left behind disciples, there can be no replacing him; his brilliance had a wavelength all its own
Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor at the College de France until his death in 1980. Adam Phillips, formerly Principal Child Psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital, London, is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of numerous works of psychoanalysis and literary criticism, including most recently On Wanting to Change, Attention Seeking, In Writing, Unforbidden Pleasures and Missing Out. He is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations, and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.