In “The Reality Effect,” Roland Barthes reveals notation’s ideological function within the realist novel; a decade later in Preparation of the Novel, Barthes reconsiders notation as the practice by which the writer provisionally makes literary meaning. Barthes’s revision of his claims for the reality effect helps us see how an emerging genre—the novel of commission—pulls referential, preparatory materials into the novel in order to reimagine the sociality and institutionality of the writing process.
Notation After “The Reality Effect”: Remaking Reference with Roland Barthes and Sheila Heti
Rachel Sagner Buurma (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Assistant Professor of English Literature at Swarthmore College. She is working on a book about the research practices of Victorian novelists. Additionally, she and Laura Heffernan are co-authoring a new disciplinary history that sees historicism’s referential research and provisional aesthetic values as central to the identity and classroom practices of English as a discipline.
Laura Heffernan (email@example.com) is Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Florida. She is writing a book about how modernist literary critics began to research taste rather than model it. “The Common Reader and the Archival Classroom,” an essay from her collaborative book project with Rachel Buurma, recently appeared in New Literary History.
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Rachel Sagner Buurma, Laura Heffernan; Notation After “The Reality Effect”: Remaking Reference with Roland Barthes and Sheila Heti. Representations 1 February 2014; 125 (1): 80–102. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2014.125.1.80
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