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Travels in China by Roland Barthes (review)

Travels in China by Roland Barthes (review) Reviews 419 Roland Barthes. Travels in China. Translated by Andrew Brown. Edited by Anne Herschberg Pierrot. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2012. xi, 219 pp. Hardcover $19.95, isbn 978-0-7456-5080-7. This journal normally reviews works of formal scholarship on China, and rightly so. However, a take on China at a critical point in its modern history by a major man of letters is also worthy of attention here, especially for a specialist interested in a Western eyewitness account of the final stage of the Cultural Revolution, or anyone wanting to know about the propaganda workings of a dictatorship striving to maintain its power. The notebooks of the famed French semiotician Roland Barthes of his tour of China in the spring of 1974 with his colleagues from Tel Quel, the leftist avant-garde literary magazine that was then going through a Maoist phase, provide a witty account that will interest readers wanting to understand the place and time from a phenomenological perspective. Ultimately, Barthes's notebooks are a narrative of an encounter between the West and China at a time when both were going through extreme sociopolitical turmoil. They provide much reflection on the ideological conflicts of the late twentieth century. According to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Travels in China by Roland Barthes (review)

China Review International , Volume 19 (3) – Apr 15, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367
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Abstract

Reviews 419 Roland Barthes. Travels in China. Translated by Andrew Brown. Edited by Anne Herschberg Pierrot. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2012. xi, 219 pp. Hardcover $19.95, isbn 978-0-7456-5080-7. This journal normally reviews works of formal scholarship on China, and rightly so. However, a take on China at a critical point in its modern history by a major man of letters is also worthy of attention here, especially for a specialist interested in a Western eyewitness account of the final stage of the Cultural Revolution, or anyone wanting to know about the propaganda workings of a dictatorship striving to maintain its power. The notebooks of the famed French semiotician Roland Barthes of his tour of China in the spring of 1974 with his colleagues from Tel Quel, the leftist avant-garde literary magazine that was then going through a Maoist phase, provide a witty account that will interest readers wanting to understand the place and time from a phenomenological perspective. Ultimately, Barthes's notebooks are a narrative of an encounter between the West and China at a time when both were going through extreme sociopolitical turmoil. They provide much reflection on the ideological conflicts of the late twentieth century. According to

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 15, 2012

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