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This article is an invited paper, subjected to open review by the Editors and/or the Editorial Board

This article has been published in: Ocula 17, One hundred and one years of Barthes (1915-2016)

author: Isabella Pezzini (Dipartimento di Comunicazione e ricerca sociale (CORIS), Università La Sapienza di Roma (IT))

Biography and autobiography in Barthes (1915-1980) and Lotman (1922-1993): A Comparison of perspectives

language: italian

publication date: January 2016

abstract: This essay deals with the theme of autobiography (or, better still, of personal biography) through the comparison of two ‘autobiographies’, those of Roland Barthes and Jurij M. Lotman. The books reveal the different intellectual attitudes of these two twentieth century masters of semiotics. Barthes, after having given much attention to the theme of biography in relation to others (with the essays on Michelet, and later on Sade, Fourier and Loyola), made of his own biography a crucial moment in his own intellectual development, a project which began with the text, Barthes par Roland Barthes (1975). Unlike Barthes, Lotman dictated his own memoir, Ne-memuary [Non-Memoir] (Moscow 1994), only under external pressure towards the end of his life, and clearly without the intention of creating a “work”, but rather as a means of leaving an account of his experiences as a man, and as an internationally recognized scholar – in other words, a man ‘with a biography’. The comparison of Barthes and Lotman invites reflection on the value of writing and of testimony, as well as on the fact that “they both reflected from different perspectives on the deep semiotic dimension of life, considered the origin and at the same time result in a fundamental circuit with text”.

keywords: barthes, lotman, biografia, autobiografia, forme di vita

Ocula 17-Pezzini ➞ PDF [1,019Mb]

DOI: 10.12977/ocula53

citation information: Isabella Pezzini, Biografia e autobiografia in Barthes (1915-1980) e Lotman (1922-1993): un confronto di prospettive, "Ocula", vol.17, n.17, January 2016. DOI: 10.12977/ocula53


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