The Grain of the Voice

Paper Text – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2640-4
Publication Date
December 2009
Page Count
384 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

The Grain of the Voice

Interviews 1962-1980

This book brings together the great majority of Barthes’s interviews that originally appeared in French in Le Figaro Littéraire, Cahiers du Cinéma, France-Observateur, L'Express, and elsewhere. Barthes replied to questions—on the cinema, on his own works, on fashion, writing, and criticism—in his unique voice; here we have Barthes in conversation, speaking directly, with all his individuality. These interviews provide an insight into the rich, probing intelligence of one of the great and influential minds of our time.

About the Author

Roland Barthes (1915–1980) was born in Normandy, raised in Paris, and was educated at the Sorbonne and Centre national de la recherche scientifique. His first book, Mythologies, about myths in popular culture, was published in 1957. He was a central figure in schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, and post-structuralism. His works include S/Z, Camera Lucida, and the essay "The Death of the Author." Northwestern University Press is reissuing Barthes’s New Critical Essays this season as well.

Linda Coverdale is an award=winning translator of more than fifty books. In 2001, the French government awarder her the title of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.


"Perhaps the best introduction to date on Barthes and his work."—Scott Montgomery, Bloomsbury Review

"As a first introduction to the work of Roland Barthes, The Grain of the Voice could not be bettered. Stimulated by generally intelligent questioners, Barthes here talks about the development of his thought, explains why and how he wrote his many books, and pays tribute to philosophers, linguists, novelists, poets, painters, and filmmakers who have interested and inspired him . . . What comes across most vividly is the sheer gusto of a man who never stopped developing and changing, never stopped interacting with contemporaries of all ages and all tastes, and never stopped enjoying his intellectual activities and spiritual explorations."—S. S. Prawer, Washington Post Book World