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The Sorceress's Apprentice: Roland Barthes and the Criticism of Magic
New Literary History Pub Date : 2021-04-29
John Lurz

Abstract:

In a seldom-read 1956 contribution to his “little mythology of the month” series, Roland Barthes addresses the image of the intellectual promulgated by Pierre Poujade’s populist screed J’ai choisi le combat. The owner of a book and stationery store who created the right-wing Defense Union of Shopkeepers and Craftsmen in 1953, Poujade penned his book to defend the “common man” against the elites of government, business, and academia, and sparked a short-lived but virulent political movement in France based on antiparliamentarianism, anti-intellectualism, and xenophobia. Barthes’s essay, which wasn’t published in English until 1979, explicates the mythic contours of the Poujadist intellectual based on what Barthes calls “the inevitable basis of all anti-intellectualism: the suspicion of language.”1 As a sort of culmination of the various condemnations that are routinely pitched at linguistic practitioners (idleness, social detachment, physical weakness, for example), Barthes closes the essay with a striking figure: “in the Poujadist society,” he writes, “the intellectual has the accursed and necessary role of a lapsed witch doctor [d’un sorcier dégradé].”2 Almost twenty years later, writing in Le Monde in 1974, he returns to this image and alludes to the “indictment of magic” that is “periodically lodged against intellectuals,” stating that “the intellectual is treated as a witch doctor [un sorcier] might be by a tribe of dealers, businessmen, and jurists.”3 Though not quite bookends of Barthes’s intellectual career, these two far-flung appearances of the sorcerer reveal the persistence of this distinctive image in Barthes’s thinking, the significance of which it is the intention of this essay is to track across its various associations and transformations. Conjuring up a new perspective on one of our greatest and most beloved critical teachers, the deliberately fantastic view of Barthes’s career that I develop here magically reanimates the practice of thinking through language itself and spells out the very real trickery by which the words of critical and creative writers alike do their work in the world.



中文翻译:

女巫的学徒:罗兰·巴特与魔术的批判

摘要:

罗兰·巴特(Roland Barthes)于1956年为他的“本月小神话”系列撰稿而鲜为人知,他讲述了皮埃尔·普亚贾德(Pierre Poujade)民粹主义“ J'ai choisi le”战斗所散发的知识分子形象。。普贾德(Poujade)是一家书店和文具店的所有者,于1953年成立了右翼的店主和工匠国防联盟,他写这本书来捍卫“平民”抵御政府,企业和学术界的精英,并引发了短暂的抗议。在法国以反议会主义,反知识分子主义和仇外心理为基础,进行了激烈而激烈的政治运动。Barthes的论文直到1979年才以英文出版,它根据Barthes所说的“所有反知识论的必然基础:对语言的怀疑”,阐释了Poujadist知识分子的神话轮廓。1巴特(Barthes)用引人注目的人物结束了这篇论文:“在普雅德(Poujadist)社会中,科特迪瓦联合国sorcier降低。” 2近二十年后,以书面世界报在1974年,他返回到这个图像,并暗指‘魔法’,也就是‘对知识分子定期递交起诉书,’指出“智能IS作为巫医处理[未sorcier也许是由交易商,商人和法学家组成的部落。” 3尽管巴特斯的思想生涯并不完全是书本,但是这两个遥不可及的巫师表象揭示了这一独特形象在巴特斯思想中的持久性,以及它的意义。本文的目的是跟踪其各种关联和转换。我对这里最伟大,最受人喜爱的批判老师的看法有了新的看法,我在这里发展的对巴特斯生涯的刻意奇妙的看法神奇地重提了通过语言本身进行思考的实践,并阐明了批判性和批判性词语的真正欺骗性。富有创造力的作家都在世界各地工作。

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