Monday, 22 December, 2014

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Roland Barthes the Discourse of History

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The formal description of sets of words beyond the level of the sentence (what we call for convenience discourse) is not a modern development: from Gorgias to the nineteenth century, it was the special concern of traditional rhetoric. Recent developments in the science of language have nonetheless endowed it with a new timeliness and new methods of analysis: a linguistic description of discourse can perhaps already be envisaged at this stage; because of its bearings on literary analysis (whose importance in education is well known) it is one of the first assignments for semiology to undertake.




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Description: Roland Barthes the Discourse of History
This second level of linguistics, which must look for the universals of discourse (if they exist) under the form of units and general rules of combination, must at the same time obviously give an answer to the question whether structural analysis is justified in retaining the traditional typology of discourses; whether it is fully legitimate to make a constant opposition between the discourses of poetry and the novel, the fictional narrative and the historical narrative.

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