- NAME: Roland Barthes
- OCCUPATION: Philosopher, Literary Critic, Academic Author
- BIRTH DATE: November 12, 1915
- DEATH DATE: March 25, 1980
- Did You Know?: Roland Barthes was interred in a sanatorium in his young adult years for tuberculosis.
- EDUCATION: Lycée Montagne, Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Sorbonne
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Cherbourg, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Paris, France
- Full Name: Roland Gérard Barthes
- AKA: Roland Barthes
Best Known For
Roland Barthes was a French literary philosopher best known for influencing structuralism, semiotics and anthropology.
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Influenced by his mother's death, in October 1977—an event that left him devastated—Barthes wrote his final book, La Chambre Claire (Camera Lucida), discussing photography as a mean of communication, in 1980. (Barthes and his mother had lived together for nearly 60 years prior to her death.)
Barthes fell ill during his young adult years, which, along with the realization that he was homosexual, affected his self-esteem. He was able to make close friendships, including with famed psychologist and writer Julia Kristeva, of whom he once reportedly said, "She's the only person I'm really in love with, the only woman who could make me change my sexuality."
Friends noted Barthes's loyalty, thoughtfulness and inability to say "no" to requests. They also praised his rich voice (Barthes enjoyed music and even took singing lessons).
Succumbing to injuries that he'd sustained after being hit by a vehicle weeks earlier, Roland Barthes died in Paris on March 25, 1980, at the age of 64.
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