Jean-Claire VANÇON. The tomato and the habanera. Roland Barthes´ Rhétorique de l´image: what tools for what analysis? The example of La Soirée dans Grenade

The lectures given by Roland Barthes at the École Pratique des Hautes Études certified the death of rhetorics (L´ancienne rhétorique, 1964-1965); but he wrote at the same time an important paper (Rhétorique de l´image, 1964) that hypothesizes its survival in non-linguistic "texts", more specifically in advertising pictures. Why not in musical works? Barthes studied a Panzani advertisement; we consider Debussy´s Soirée dans Grenade. We first paraphrase Barthes´ analysis (a semiotic analysis using rhetorical concepts, leading to a reception analysis), leading to an understanding of the links between La Soirée and the poetic texts that Alfred Cortot and Federico Garcia-Lorca wrote about this work. We question Barthes´s definitions of the terms "rhetoric", "sign" and "reception", to realize that our reception analysis is neither a rhetorical analysis of La Soirée dans Grenade nor a non-rhetorical one, but a rhetorical analysis of Cortot´s and Garcia-Lorca´s texts.