A book by Roland Barthes, translated by Richard Howard. I talk about it when I'm hitting on smart girls. I first read it after the breakup of a big, long relationship, and it fucked me up. In the same period I read the Starr Report and they seem to me to have a similar argument: I quote:

"That the lover's discourse is today of an extreme solitude. This discourse is spoken, perhaps, by thousands of subjects (who knows?), but warranted by no one; it is completely forsaken by the surrounding languages: ignored, disparaged or derided by them, severed not only from authority but from the mechanisms of authority...
"Everything follows from this principle: that the lover is not to be reduced to a single symptomal subject, but rather that we hear in his voice what is "unreal," i.e., intractable . . ."

It is arranged as fragments, in a classically frenchy style, without any real organization (it's alphabetical). "The description of a lover's discourse has been replaced by its simulation . . . [staging] an utterance, not an analysis."


. . .
1. I am waiting for an arrival, a return, a promised sign. This can be futile, or immensely pathetic: in Erwartung (Waiting), a woman waits for her lover, at night, in the forest; I am waiting for no more than a telephone call, but the anxiety is the same. Everything is solemn: I have no sense of proportions.
(R.B., A L D: F, tr. R.H. New York: Hill and Wang (1978). pp 1, 3, 37.

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