Books by Richard Howard

ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: March 20, 2012

"It's remarkable that essays written more than a half-century ago, on another continent, should seem not merely pertinent but prescient in regard to the course of contemporary American culture."
A new edition of landmark work. Read full book review >
MOURNING DIARY by Roland Barthes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 19, 2010

"A catharsis for writer and reader alike."
The French philosopher opens his heart in a book he never intended to publish. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Oct. 12, 2009

"Too cool for its own good. (Pop-up/fiction. 10 & up)"
"[E]yes are blind. You have to look with the heart," says the little prince, which makes this pop-up edition of the 1943 classic a bit of an odd duck. Read full book review >
PAPER TRAIL by Richard  Howard
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Of interest to Howard's admirers and students—and anyone with patience for formal concerns, close reading, and 'alien eloquence.'"
Well-crafted essays, forewords, and afterwords on poets and poetry by the critic, translator, editor, and poet. Read full book review >
REPETITION by Alain Robbe-Grillet
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 20, 2003

"The self-seriousness of Robbe-Grillet's early experimental fiction has devolved into a grave playfulness. Mostly, though, the narrator is right on the money from the opening line: 'Here, then, I repeat, and I sum up.'"
Though it's been 20 years since his last novel, the clock has stopped in more ways than one on Robbe-Grillet's latest and (as its title aptly suggests) least novel nouveau roman. Read full book review >
THE TROLLEY by Claude Simon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2002

"Proust himself seldom did it better. A small but substantial masterpiece from one of the world's greatest living writers."
The 1985 Nobelist joins Doris Lessing and Hortense Calisher in demonstrating, in this year of wonders, that old age need not inhibit creative power. Read full book review >
THE CALL OF THE RUNNING TIDE by Nancy Price Graff
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

"An unusually evocative portrayal of a region. (Nonfiction. 10-18)"
A sympathetic, realistic portrait of a lobster-trapping family on Swan's Island, Maine, showing their activities throughout the year. Read full book review >
THE SEMIOTIC CHALLENGE by Richard  Howard
NON-FICTION
Released: March 1, 1988

"Reading Barthes the scholar rather than the social critic (though he's freewheelingly campy in both: blasÉ about sources, using lan Fleming's Goldfinger as an exemplary text at one point) is refreshing, and the book—though not for many outside the academy, probably—earns its distinction as such."
Something under half the pieces here are generalized restatements of the uses of semiology—"Sociology and Socio-logic," "Semiology and Urbanism," "Senfiology and Medicine"—that were originally addresses or contributions to omnibus volumes. Read full book review >
THE RUSTLE OF LANGUAGE by Richard  Howard
NON-FICTION
Released: March 1, 1986

"But one reads on, forever intrigued by Barthes' stripping off of stickum tape from one's mental appliances."
In the 20th century, the French essayic mind may have tunneled to its deepest riches in the works of the late Roland Barthes. Read full book review >
THE FASHION SYSTEM by Richard  Howard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 1983

"Linguists may appreciate his precise dissection of codes and matrices; most other readers may suffer through the semantics to enjoy the closing and far more anarchic perceptions."
In Mythologies, Barthes hinted that fashion magazines might provide a ready field for semiological analysis. Read full book review >
EMPIRE OF SIGNS by Richard  Howard
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1982

"There is more concentrated pleasure here, however—along with fewer stylistic and other impediments—than in major works of the canon."
Brief appreciations of things Japanese, of the "richness, mobility, and subtlety" of the Japanese "exchange of signs": published in France in 1970, and Barthes at his most seductive. Read full book review >
NEW CRITICAL ESSAYS by Richard  Howard
Released: July 1, 1980

"This can lead, at best, to a string of thought-provoking dicta, but in any case it fails to leave the reader with a coherent view of the work in question."
Eight not-so-new essays, as ingenious and exasperating as ever, by the late M. Barthes. Read full book review >
THE EIFFEL TOWER AND OTHER MYTHOLOGIES by Richard  Howard
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 21, 1979

"Minor, dated work to begin with (some go back 20 years), these pieces make even less of an impact as an export."
Another crop of "mythologies"—structuralist patterns inside daffy life—from Barthes, pieces that are as close as he ever comes to occasional writing. Read full book review >
THE ONE PIG WITH HORNS by Richard  Howard
ANIMALS
Released: March 12, 1979

"A cartoonland burlesque that's especially gross in this form."
For all that one can tell, this pig has lost his marbles—he stands on top of a garbage heap with horns fixed to his head ("to be as handsome as a bull"); literally explodes when he's angry and (literally) loses his head; starts cavorting like a clown and explodes again when no one laughs; plays a mother and a baby, plants himself in the ground like a flower. . . until that off-and-on head falls out of a tree and loses its horns—whereupon he puts it back on his head "for good," reconciled to being a real pig. Read full book review >
A LOVER'S DISCOURSE by Richard  Howard
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 29, 1978

"Probing."
Structuralist rhetoric tailored to the "little narcissisms, psychological paltrinesses" of a lover. Read full book review >