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The author still rules in manuals of literary history, in biographies of writers, in magazine interviews, and even in the awareness of literary men, anxious to unite, by their private journals, their person and their work; the image of literature to be found in contemporary culture is tyrannically centered on the author, his person, his history, his tastes, his passions.

(emphasis mine)

This passage discusses how the role of the author in the literary analysis of that time was absolute. However, it refers to "magazine interviews" as being an avenue in which the author's word is absolute. However, at first, I thought this was a weird translation of journal, but in the next line he refers to "their [the literary men's] private journals", which clarified for me that the magazine of "magazine interviews" was not a journal. This led me to wonder whether magazines of that time did serious literary analysis.

Did mainstream magazines that Roland Barthes may have read include interviews for the purpose of literary analysis, or only interviews in the modern sense of magazine, author interviews?

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However, at first, I thought this was a weird translation of journal, but in the next line he refers to "their [the literary men's] private journals", which clarified for me that the magazine of "magazine interviews" was not a journal.

You are saying "magazines" must not refer to published literary journals because that would make "[the literary men's] private journals" redundant.

However, the qualification private seems critical to the meaning here. He's referring, literally, to any kind of private journal which might be kept by an author. Note he also includes their person, i.e., the author him/herself, "still rules" how his/her person is to be interpreted. Barthes is perhaps being slightly hyperbolic by stating what many people might consider self-evident, in order to make it clear what he is going to call into question (Of course I am the ruler of how my person is to be interpreted, aren't I? Presuming that was ever really a given, it certainly ends with Freud...)

Along these lines, although with regard to private journals the author would most likely be dead when they are first exposed, this self-evident master interpreter could still be applied. If something is found ambiguous, a commentator might dig up some relevant statement by the author to say, "We can turn to the author's own words in order to understand this.." -- which applies equally well posthumously to anything the author wrote including private journals. Conventionally this would lend weight to the commentator's interpretation, if we assume a great posthumous commentator would be someone best able to emulate or expose "what the author meant".

It does not stop at that scenario; "even in the awareness of literary men, anxious to unite" implies entirely private thoughts and interpretations are also being considered. A private journal is something likely written only for oneself, and there is a reflective, interpretive act involved both in writing and (re-)reading previous passages.

Put another way, what "private journals" refers to here isn't any kind of publication, it means literally the private writing of an author, and so it is not redundant with "magazines".

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The "magazine interviews" are interviews with or about authors published in magazines, though not necessarily magazines that focus primarily in literature. There is a fairly large number of literary magazines in France, such as La Nouvelle Revue française (established in 1908), Les Temps modernes (since 1945), Le Cerf-volant (since 1945), Tel Quel (1960-1982) and Le Magazine Littéraire (established in 1966). In addition, some other magazines publish "hors-série" issues that may be devoted to a literaty topic, such as a specific author; these magazines include L'Obs (formerly Le nouvel Observateur), Le Point and Le Figaro magazine.

These aren't scholarly journals, for which the French term is revue scientifique. They are also distinct from the literary men's "private journals", which aren't periodicals but more like private diaries.

The magazines like those listed above didn't publish academic literary criticism of the type published in scholarly journals; however, they did publish review of literary works, which is a different type of literary criticism. I have never heard of interviews with authors for the sake of scholarly literary analysis. Scholars might use interviews as a source of information.

However, by the time when Roland Barthes was writing, the author's intentions were at best considered of secondary importance—compared to analysis of the text itself—for the interpretation of a literary text. W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley's paper "The Intentional Fallacy" (1946) had already put the text rather than the author at the centre. For this reason, the claim that "We can turn to the author's own words in order to understand this.." in goldilocks's answer is really an anachronism in this context. (It may reflect how teachers talk about literature in schools but not how most academics approach literary texts.)

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