A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes

By Roland Barthes

A Lover’s Discourse, at its 1978 ebook, used to be progressive: Roland Barthes made unparalleled use of the instruments of structuralism to discover the whimsical phenomenon of affection. wealthy with references starting from Goethe’s Werther to Winnicott, from Plato to Proust, from Baudelaire to Schubert, A Lover’s Discourse artfully attracts a portrait within which each reader will locate echoes of themselves.

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How is it that sistemati around me can inspire Ihal the sisll'mati envy? From what, seeing them , am II excluded? f Conversation. Conversat ion. 46 " pigeonholed " there are too many complaints from the "pigeonholed" aabout bout their system, and the dream of union forms fo rms another fan tasize in the system is quite modest figure. No, what I fantasize (a fa nt asy all the more paradoxical in that it has no parfantasy ructicular vividness): vividness) : I want, I desire, quile quite simply, a Sl struclUre lalcly, produced a gritting gri tt ing of teeth: it ture (this word, lately, was regarded as the acme of abstraction).

To read in his eyes an expression of such an innocence (no 10 other word) word ) that I persisted, whatever happened, happened, in in setting him , so to speak speak,, aside from himself, him self, outside ou tside of his own character. At that moment moment,, I was exonerating him from all criticism or commentary. As innocence, innocence, atopia alOpia resists description, defin definition , language, which is maya, ition, classification of Names (of Faults) Faults).. Being Bei ng Atopic, the cannot other makes language indecisive: one ca nnot speak of the other, about the other; every attribute is false, othe r, abolll false , painful, pai nfu l, unqualifiable ((this this erroneous, awkward: the other is unqllali{iable meaning would be the true mea ning of atopos) .

Unclassifiable, of a ceaselessly unforeseen originality. origi nality. Nietzsche NietZSChe 1. The atopia of Socrates is linked to Eros (Socrates is courted by Alcibiades) AJcibiades) and to the numbfish numbfi sh (Socrates electrifies elect rifies and benumbs Meno). Meno) . The other whom II love and who fascinates fa scinates me is atopos. I cannot ca nnOI classify the other, ot her, for the other is, precisely, Unique, Unique, the singular singu lar Image which has miraculously come 10 to correspond to \0 the speciaJty specialty of my desire.

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