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Roland Barthes Research Papers

The writers at Paper Masters examine postmodern era writers, like Roland Barthes, in research papers that explicate the author's work. You can receive a custom written research paper on any author or any author's work you need.

Paper Masters writes custom research papers on Roland Barthes' essays, such as "The Grain of the Voice". Like Derrida and Foucault, Barthes dedicates his essay to exploring the philosophical shifts that have brought about new critical practices in reading and interpreting literature. Just as Foucault attacked one of the primary assumptions about the production of meaning, Barthes reveals the problems that underlie our approach to novels, poems, and other types of literature. Barthes describes the difference between the commonly-held view of literature:

  1. Each piece as a "work", which implies all kinds of beliefs about the primacy of the author
  2. The post-structuralist view, which views these individual units as "texts"

One of the most key differences between these two views is that a "work"? while the post-structuralists view literature as "texts", "work" sees the writer as simply one more producer of interpretations, partnering with readers in the creation of meaning.

Roland BarthesAlthough there are valid points in Barthes' essay, you may not be ready to concede the power of authorship altogether. Many believe that although social influences definitely help to shape the literary text, the author is should still be viewed as the primary creator of literary meaning, who engages in a creative act distinct from that of the reader.

The postmodern era is difficult to define. It is equally difficult to pinpoint precisely when "modernism" ended and "postmodernism" began. According to Webster (2002):

Postmodernism is at once an intellectual movement and something which each of us encounter in our everyday lives [...]  postmodernism is a break with ways of thinking and acting which have been arguably supreme for several centuries.

Since postmodernism emerged from modernism, it is important to understand the concept of modernism. Modernism “here is a catch-all term, one which capture things such as planning, organization, and functionality”. Modernism involved a search for truth, a search for the authentic. “Modern zealots are the ones that worry about what it all means”.

It is significant that modernism coincided with industrialization in developed countries. People were moving from rural areas to more urban areas and productivity became a priority. Manufacturing firms focused on the efficient assembly of their products. This attention to efficiency and organization caused a nostalgia for the things of the past and a desperate need for meaning.

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