The Barthes Effect was first published in 1987. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The author acknowledges the essay as an eccentric phenomenon in literary history, one that has long resisted entry into the taxonomy of genres, as it concentrates on four works by Roland Barthes: The Pleasure of the Text, A Lover's Discourse, Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, and Camera Lucida. Maintains that with Barthes the essay achieves a status of its own, as reflective text.
". . . a study rigorously conscious of the critical maneuvers it executes and, more importantly, questions as critical practice . . . " Bensmaïa's strategy produces a successful investigation of the interstices and slippages of meaning which Barthes addressed in his work." SubStance
Reda Bensmaia is associate professor in the departments of French and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota, and translator Pat Fedkiew, a graduate student in French at Minnesota. Michele Richman is associate professor of French at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Reading Georges Bataille: Beyond the Gift.