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Travels in China,9780745650814

Travels in China

Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 10/7/2013
Publisher(s): Polity
Availability: This title is currently not available.


In 1974 Roland Barthes travelled in China as part of a small delegation of distinguished French philosophers and literary figures. They arrived in China just as the last stage of the Cultural Revolution was getting underway - the campaign to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius. While they were welcomed by writers and academics, the travelers were required to follow a pre-established itinerary, visiting factories and construction sites, frequenting shows and restaurants that were the mainstay of Western visitors to China in the 70s.

Barthes planned to return from the trip with a book on China: the book never materialized, but he kept the diary notes he wrote at the time. The notes on things seen, smelled and heard alternate with reflections and remarks - meditations, critiques or notes of sympathy, an aside from the surrounding world. Published now for the first time more than thirty years after the trip, these notebooks offer a unique portrait of China at a time of turbulence and change, seen through the eyes of the world’s greatest semiotician.

Author Biography

Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a French essayist and social and literary critic.

Table of Contents

Map of China
Roland Barthes: Notes from a Visit to China
Notebook 1
Notebook 2
Notebook 3
Notes for Notebooks 1-3
Notebook 4
Thematic index
Index of proper names
Facsimile of Notebook 1
(Roland Barthes Archives, IMEC)

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