Julia Kristeva

1941 (Sliven, Bulgaria) –

Barthes taught Kristeva. She became a member of Sollers’ ‘Tel Quel’ group (marrying Sollers), where Derrida was one of her colleagues. Schapiro was a correspondent, Roth a friend. Kristeva valued greatly the friendship of Benveniste, visiting him in hospital towards the end of his life, and dedicating a book to him.

Julia Kristeva knew…

Umberto Eco

1932 (Alessandria, Italy) – 2016 (Milan)

Pareyson and Abbagnano taught Eco; Vattimo was a fellow-student. Eco’s long friendship with Berio started when both worked for the Italian state broadcaster, RAI. Hobsbawm and Putnam were academic colleagues-in-arms. Eco held Calvino in high regard, corresponded with Quine, conversed with Wilson, and described Barthes as “my dear friend.”

Roland Barthes

1915 (Cherbourg, France) – 1980 (Paris)

Barthes let Perec sit in on his seminars, as a writer not a student, and later sent him his manuscripts for comment. Bataille was the first to publish Barthes; Camus also printed his essays in the journal ‘Combat.’ Kristeva was a doctoral student of his, and wrote an essay on him. He described Butor as an “epitome of structuralism”, launched a review ‘Arguments’ with Duvignaud, was drawn by his friend Klossowski, and wrote about his close friend Sollers. Foucault, another of his intimates, nominated him for an academic chair. He attended Benveniste’s seminars, greatly valuing his friendship and modesty.