Hermeneutic and Cultural Codes of S/Z: A Semiological Reading of James Joyce’s "The Boarding House"

Seyed Ali Booryazadeh, Sohila Faghfori, Habibe Shamsi


Roland Barthes as a fervent proponent of semiology believes that semiology is a branch of a comprehensive linguistics: it is the study of how language articulates the world. Semiotic codes, the paths of this articulation, accordingly underlie his attention. Barthes in a structural analysis of Balzac’s "Sarrasine" in S/Z expounds five types and functions of these codes. "The Boarding House," one of the most widely read of James Joyce’s short stories, despite its straightforwardness is correspondingly saturated with these codes such as cultural and proairetic ones. This research according to Barthes’ semiology makes an attempt to elucidate the proairetic codes and structural components that carry a nonverbal cultural message of James Joyce’s "The Boarding House." The present study furthermore tries to show how with resort to a series of signs and special codes a literary text can thematically be substantialized. Moreover, it demonstrates that not only can the text of "The Boarding House" be encoded by the same criteria Barthes encoded "Sarrasine" but also Joyce himself presents particular names for these codes.

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