Roland Barthes, ‘The Death of the Author’, in Image Text Music, trans. Stephen Heath, Fontana Press, 1977

We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message of the Author-God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture. Read full extract

Roland Barthes, The Preparation of the Novel, trans. Kate Briggs, Columbia University Press, 2011 (La Préparation du roman I et II, Cours et séminaires au Collège de France, Paris: Seuil, 1976-1977)

Each year, when beginning a new course, I think it apt to recall the pedagogical principle started programmatically in the ‘Inaugural Lecture’: ‘I sincerely believe that at the origin of teaching such as this we must always locate a fantasy, which can vary from year to year.’ Read full extract

Michel Butor, L'Ecriture nomade, BNF, 2006

In order to see better and understand, I needed to talk about a city from the vantage point of another. I wrote Passage de Milan, a study on Paris, when I was in England. Passing Time, which is set in England was written in Paris and in Greece.

Kreider + O'Leary, Falling, Copy Press, 2015

For a sign to become a sign, it must be repeated at least once. Which is why, when they saw the second tower going up, they knew that this was no ordinary building. No, this great column of steel and glass, doubled, would mark an architectural entry into the realm of the symbolic. Read full extract

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night, Yale University Press, 2006

If the library in the morning suggests an echo of the severe and reasonably wishful order of the world, the library at night seems to rejoice in the world’s essential, joyful muddle. Read full extract

Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. John Sturrock, Penguin, 1982 (Espèces d'espaces, Galilée, 1974)

Still another space, much larger and vaguely hexagonal, has been surrounded by a broad dotted line ... and it has been decided that everything found inside this dotted line should be considered violet and called France.