Journal Article

A ‘Book of Starres’ or ‘A Starred Text’? George Herbert Meets Roland Barthes

Andy Sutton-Jones

in Literature and Theology

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 221-235
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frl026
A ‘Book of Starres’ or ‘A Starred Text’? George Herbert Meets Roland Barthes

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A ‘book of starres’ or a ‘starred text’? This article examines the surprising parallels between the astrological depictions of Herbert's Bible and Barthes’ text. Reading for both is likened to the interpretation of stars, the drawing of constellations in search of meaning. Barthes’ concept blurs the boundaries between reader and writer in the same way Herbert's reading of the Bible relates to his writing of poetry. Through his use of cosmic imagery Herbert explores what Barthes defines as the ‘infinite nature of language’. However, this infinite quality, which Barthes often associated with pleasure, is also shown to have caused Herbert considerable anxiety.

Journal Article.  6379 words. 

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

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