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Roland Barthes

Key Theories of Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes was born at Cherbourg in 1915. Barely a year later, his father died in naval combat in the North Sea, so that the son was brought up by the mother and, periodically, by his grandparents. Before completing his… Read More ›

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Narrative Theory

Modern Narrative Theory begins with Russian Formalism in the 1920s, specifically with the work of Roman Jakobson, Yury Tynyanov, and Viktor Shklovsky. Tynyanov combined his skills as a historical novelist with Formalism to produce, with Jakobson, Theses on Language (1928),… Read More ›

Decanonisation

In the wake on Postmodernist critique of modernism and liberal humanism, and with the vogue of Derridean deconstruction and decentering of the subject/centre, the Western canon of “great” books, not only in literature but in all areas of humanistic study,… Read More ›

Deconstruction

Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole. As J. Hillis Miller, the preeminent American deconstructionist, has explained in an essay entitled Stevens’… Read More ›

 Structuralist Narratology 

  Espoused by Tzvetan Todorov, Roland Barthes and , Structuralist narratology illustrates how a story’s meaning develops from its overall structure (the langue) rather than from each individual story’s isolated theme (the parole). According to Aristotle, all narratives develop longitudinally,… Read More ›

Saussurean Structuralism

Saussure introduced Structuralism in Linguistics, marking a revolutionary break in the study of language, which had till then been historical and , philological. In his Course in General Linguistics (1916), Saussure saw language as a system of signs constructed by… Read More ›

Structuralism

The advent of critical theory in the post-war period, which comprised various complex disciplines like linguistics, literary criticism, Psychoanalytic criticism, structuralism, postcolonialism etc., proved hostile to the liberal consensus which reigned the realm of criticism between the 1930s and `50s. Among… Read More ›

Connotation and Denotation

Denotation and connotation are crucial concepts in semiotics, structuralism, Marxism, cultural studies and in the entire realm of literary and cultural theory. Denotation refers to the primary signification or reference – the definitional, literal, obvious meaning of a sign. In… Read More ›

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