Writing Degree Zero by Roland Barthes

Is there any such thing as revolutionary literature? Can literature, in fact, be political at all? These are the questions Roland Barthes addresses in Writing Degree Zero, his first published book and a landmark in his oeuvre. The debate had engaged the European literary community since the 1930s; with this fierce manifesto, Barthes challenged the notion of literature’s obligation to be socially committed. Yes, Barthes allows, the writer has a political and ethical responsibility. But the history of French literature shows that the writer has often failed to meet it—and from Barthes’s perspective, literature is committed to little more than the myth of itself. Expert and uncompromising, Writing Degree Zero introduced the themes that would soon establish Barthes as one of the leading voices in literary criticism.

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The 1051st greatest nonfiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 63rd on Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century (Le Monde)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Writing Degree Zero Hardcover 4869564 $16.01
S-Z Paperback 2580850 $31.87 $1.55 1977
Writing Degree Zero Paperback 424961 $51.87 $3.98 1977
Writing Degree Zero Paperback 679378 $11.55 $5.99 2012