Barthes was a regular Beethoven. Okay, not really, but he was definitely dedicated to playing the piano. Triple threat! (Source.)
Ugh. Roland Barthes caught tuberculosis while still in school and had trouble finishing his doctoral dissertation. (Many libraries wouldn't rent to anyone who had TB—making for a lot of very bored patients.) (Source.)
This guy was super close to his mother—they even lived together. And rumor has it that it was seeing photos of her after her death that inspired him to write Camera Lucida. (Source.)
This one's good. Roland Barthes wrote a book called Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes. It's definitely not your typical autobiography.
Barthes wrote an article called "Soap-powders and Detergents," which contained the following sentence about—we kid you not—foam: "Foam can even be the sign of a certain spirituality, inasmuch as the spirit has the reputation of being able to make something out of nothing, a large surface of effects out of a small volume of causes." If only we had deep thoughts every time we used foaming hand soap… (Source.)