Barthes focuses on the concept of "idiorrhythmy," a productive form of living together in which one recognizes and respects the individual rhythms of the other. He explores this phenomenon in five texts representing different living spaces and their associated ways of life: ?mile Zola's "Pot-Bouille," set in a Parisian apartment building; Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain," which takes place in a sanatorium; Andr? Gide's "La S?questr?e de Poitiers," based on the true story of a woman confined to her bedroom; Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe," about a castaway on a remote island; and Pallidius's "Lausiac History," on the ascetic lives of the desert fathers. As with his previous lecture books, "How to Live Together" exemplifies Barthes's singular approach to teaching, in which he invites his audience to investigate with him, or for him, and wholly incorporates them into his discoveries. Rich with playful observations and suggestive, clarifying prose, "How to Live Together" is a foundational text orienting English-speaking readers to the full power of Barthes's intellectual adventures.
Roland Barthes (1915--1980) was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician whose work has been central to the delineation and development of numerous schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, anthropology, and post-structuralism. His books include The Preparation of the Novel: Lecture Courses and Seminars at the College de France (1978--1979 and 1979--1980); The Neutral: Lecture Course at the College de France (1977--1978); Mythologies; S/Z; A Lover's Discourse; and Camera Lucida.
Kate Briggs is the translator of Roland Barthes's The Preparation of the Novel: Lecture Courses and Seminars at the College de France (1978--1979 and 1979--1980).