This ideal reader

I. I am well aware of the arrogance in claiming that a certain book has been written with one’s self in mind. [Although I am also aware—and confident—that this proclamation ownership has not yet reached the prose-sickening stylings of one Elif Shafak.] I realize now that a more politic way of saying so is looking [...]

Owning Roland Barthes

 #151 of 2011 • A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes, translated from the French by Richard Howard. Published by Hill & Wang.   * * * [FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO]   1. POSSESSION Two of my friends are currently reading Roland Barthes. One keeps hurling invectives at the page. The other, whom [...]

On The Pleasure of the Text, an “erotics of reading” by Roland Barthes, translated by Richard Miller

Text of pleasure: the text that contents, fills, grants euphoria; the text that comes from culture and does not break with it, is linked to a comfortable practice of reading. Text of bliss: the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts (perhaps to the point of a certain boredom), unsettles the [...]

Coming to terms, at long last, with The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

I recently read Barthes’ The Pleasure of the Text, where I picked up this awesome little nugget about “[diluted] tmesis”: . . . we do not read everything with the same intensity of reading; a rhythm is established, casual, unconcerned with the integrity of the text; our very avidity for knowledge impels us to skim [...]

“. . . the lover’s discourse is today of an extreme solitude.”

Now, absence can only exist as a consequence of the other: it is the other who leaves, it is I who remain. The other is in a condition of perpetual departure, of journeying; the other is, by vocation, migrant, fugitive; I -- I who love, by converse vocation, am sedentary, motionless, at hand, in expectation, [...]