Journal Article

Buddha Barthes: What Barthes saw in Photography (That he didn't in Literature)

Jay Prosser

in Literature and Theology

Volume 18, issue 2, pages 211-222
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/18.2.211
Buddha Barthes: What Barthes saw in Photography (That he didn't in Literature)

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Roland Barthes's final works become increasingly interested in Buddhism. Just before his death, and after his mother's, he writes an essay on photography, Camera Lucida, which corresponds what he sees in photography with what he saw in Buddhism. This is the real, or what Barthes called the punctum, or what Zen calls sunyata (quoted by Barthes). In this void is death, and it brings Barthes to the zero degree outside of literature and the verbal sign that he had always sought.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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