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  1. Apr 2022
    1. By the early 1970s, Barthes’ long-standing use of index cards wasrevealed through reproduction of sample cards in Roland Barthes byRoland Barthes (see Barthes, 1977b: 75). These reproductions,Hollier (2005: 43) argues, have little to do with their content andare included primarily for reality-effect value, as evidence of anexpanding taste for historical documents

      While the three index cards of Barthes that were reproduced in the 1977 edition of Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes may have been "primarily for reality-effect value as evidence of an expanding taste for historical documents" as argued by Hollier, it does indicate the value of the collection to Barthes himself as part of an autobiographical work.

      I've noticed that one of the cards is very visibly about homosexuality in a time where public discussion of the term was still largely taboo. It would be interesting to have a full translation of the three cards to verify Hollier's claim, as at least this one does indicate the public consumption of the beginning of changing attitudes on previously taboo subject matter, even for a primarily English speaking audience which may not have been able to read or understand them, but would have at least been able to guess the topic.

      At least some small subset of the general public might have grown up with an index-card-based note taking practice and guessed at what their value may have been though largely at that point index card note systems were generally on their way out.