This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume which is about the four lecture courses given by Roland Barthes at the Collège de France 1977 and 1980. This volume examines Barthes' conception of the role of the intellectual as shown in his teaching and in his elaboration of particular social values and suggests that Collège de France represents the apogee of his career as a public intellectual. It also considers his use of fragmentation in his writing and teaching and analyzes how these techniques fragmentation are linked to his antisystematic thought generally.
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