The French critic Roland Barthes has guru status among literary theorists. This private diary opens the door onto his strange personal world, recording, day-by-day, the impact of bereavement as he struggled to live without the most important person in his life: his mother. Introduced by Professor Michael Wood.
Read Michael Wood on Roland Barthes in the LRB.
"It is precisely the fragmentary nature of Mourning Diary—its eruptions and silences—that makes it monumental. In its "incomplete" form, the diary mimics the slippery, episodic, repetitive, and inconclusive nature of grief. It offers a rare mirror of a process that is usually private or summoned in reflection." - Read more in Slate.
"Mourning Diary, like nearly all of Barthes’s books, is a collection of beginnings, of fugitive and conjectural observations that lap over one another and push forward like successive waves onto a beach." - Read more in the New York Times.
"The soul-stirring writings, set down on index cards, through which he mourns his beloved mother, Henriette, with whom he lived for sixty years—reveal Barthes to be extraordinarily sensitive and relatable." - Read more in the New Yorker.