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Lovers Discourse a Lovers Discourse

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  3,303 ratings  ·  240 reviews
An insight into the discourse a lover addresses to himself and to the imagined figure of his beloved. The text is structured as a dictionary and written in a series of aphorisms. Barthes is also the author of "On Racine", "Writing Degree Zero" and "Mythologies".
Published August 30th 1990 by Penguin Putnam~trade (first published 1977)
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Dec 23, 2007 Jacob rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are having affairs or internet romances
Dear Roland,

Can I call you Roland? Or do you prefer something else? Whatever. I'm not gonna get into that. So, this book, this fucking book, is sexy. It's more than sexy. It's sexy in all caps. SEXY. It's raw and wounded and sublime. It's like theory suddenly got a heart, but not only a heart, a heart that is languishing under the power of love, a heart that might occasionally drink itself silly and smoke clove cigarettes and write rambling, fragmented, pained and intensely erotic emails to the
A textual conversation between Roland Barthes (RB) and his friend X.:

RB: hey
X: hey Rolly, what's up
RB: went on a date last night, still reeling
X: oh? how'd it go?
RB: I don't know! he said I was adorable. "adorable"!
X: huh?
RB: why would he say that?
RB: like he couldn't think of anything better about me?
RB: god, what a muck of discourse!
X: right.
X: so what did you guys do anyway?
RB: that's the worst of it
RB: we went to dinner at l'Chateau B---
RB: can you believe it?
X: oh I heard that place is gr
"Love" seems to me something which is impossible to define, to grasp. Centuries of authors, of philosophers, have tried to do so in vain. There is always something left to be said. As in death, love is a topic of infinite discourse. As Tolstoy echoes in the mouth of Anna Karenina's titular heroine: "'I think... if there are as many minds as there are men, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.'" Love is infinite in it's permutations, and therefore cannot be defined. What Barth ...more
Jul 03, 2008 Alan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovesick
Recommended to Alan by: a lovesick
Fuck! Left in random Manhattan apt, then shipped to Haiti in aunt's luggage.


Double fuck! Lost it again on the subway with hundreds of notes.


Ok finished, after 6 months.

This book is a destroying and destroyed queer love poem masquerading half-assedly as theory. It is a poem with a mustache of theory. And it's pretty great for this. He sets it up as aspiring to decode a liminal site of discourse: the lover's discourse "is completely forsaken by the surrounding languages: ignored, dispar
Brian  Kubarycz
a lengthy set of scenarios evidencing our inability to speak the full truth of our loves as a result of the drive's inevitable detours through the defiles of the signifier. i have no idea why so many people find it erotic or expressive of their most intimate amorous sentiments. if anything, the book strikes a poignant note insofar as it amasses example after example of how the imaginary (our desires) and the symbolic (our words and concepts) inevitably fail to match one another. it occurs to me ...more
This book is a classic in France, and it's probably Barthe's most popular work. It is absolutely brilliant, and may be well be the best analysis ever made of love, as seen from the beginning to the end of a relationship. It isn't a novel, it's not an essay either, nor a self-help book or a psychology study: it's just, as the title implies, fragments - fragments about the daily life of two people in love, people at various stage of love, and those fragments capture so perfectly, so intimately, so ...more
"Le parole non sono mai pazze (tutt'al più sono perverse): è la sintassi che è pazza."

Questo non è un compendio. C'è un po di tutto, pur senza che ci sia tutto.

Talvolta si tende a leggere qualcosa perché si spera nel nostro intimo che possa darci in qualche modo una risposta all' interrogativo impellente di quel momento. E allora ci si appoggia alle parole di qualcun' altro.
Nella maggior parte delle volte nulla è più sbagliato.
E allora dopotutto a che serve?
Qui vorrei chiamare in causa il grand
Mar 04, 2013 Monique rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Angus, Bennard

Originally posted here.


Admittedly, this is the kind of book that I will quickly chuck for its verbosity. I’ve always thought books like this – those that use hemorrhagic and florid words – were written more for the purpose of exhibiting the author’s unparalleled vocabulary more than anything. But for some reason, I hung on to this one. I stayed with it, and it stayed with me. Willingly.

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or finge
Questo è un libro speciale.

La malinconia per il lutto d’amore, il momento paradisiaco dei segni sottili e clandestini, la pienezza dell’ abbraccio, l’illusione della Laetitia, il morso della gelosia, le macchinazioni, insomma tutto quello che ti rende oscenamente, meravigliosamente stupido quando sei innamorato ti torna da Goethe, da Sade, da Platone, da Mann, da Freud… e ti sembra che siano le tue parole, quelle che hai detto, quelle che hai taciuto, quelle che non ti sei sentito dire.
E improv
L'amore è come le foglie di lattuga

Una delle preoccupazioni maggiori di Barthes nello scrivere questo libro, è la stessa che ha il lettore nello spiegare cosa ha letto ed evitare qualsiasi fraintendimento sul fatto che non sia un banale libro sull’amore.

Barthes riesce a fugare ogni dubbio a partire dal titolo, io (lettrice) ovviamente devo abbassare il tiro e rifugiarmi in metafore.

Sgombrate la mente e immaginate di essere dal fruttivendolo. Comprate una lattuga. Non una di quelle perfette, as
Jul 13, 2011 Vicky rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nearly everyone
my copy of this book has fallen apart from its binding before i even had the chance to reference it over and over. i read this with dry-yellow-glue dusting all over my lap. i wanted this to be a wordless review, or a capital letters review, something to simply state that this has OPENED MY EYES, that this is a dazzle of SIX STARS, that everyone should own this book in hardcover. has a book ever resonated with me so much? or "bothered" me so much? i am thankful that barthes has written us a lover ...more
No Books
Colto senza essere pedante; enciclopedico, perfino ipertestuale, senza mai smettere di essere lieve.
E c'è forse qualcosa di più bello di un'analisi del 'discorso amoroso', ovvero di quello che una persona innamorata dice a se stessa, di come legge & interpreta la propria situazione?
Ho deciso; da grande voglio essere Roland Barthes.
Uno specchio per riflettere
Un testo da prendere a piccole dosi. Un testo impegnativo eppure attraente.
Dopo l’iniziale perplessità per un linguaggio forbito e assai specialistico, non sempre a me comprensibile e, quindi, a volte frenante, mi sono lasciata prendere dall’argomento, anzi, ‘dagli’ argomenti: in ordine strettamente alfabetico (a confermare l’apprezzabile oggettività dell’intero trattato), tutti i risvolti di un unico abito: l’amore.
Dagli “Abbracci” alle “Vie d’uscita”, attraverso un
I first read, and fell in love, with Roland Barthes at uni. Christ, I was still a virgin when I swooned over ALD for the first time. Now at the tail-end of a long relationship, the terrible beauty of Barthes' writing is quite effulgent.

I was reminded again of how great a novel (well, anti-novel...) ALD is when Jeffrey Eugenides paid such tender, bittersweet homage to it in 'The Marriage Plot'.

There is a scene where Madeleine is lying in bed reading The Book, eating peanut butter from the jar wit
Aug 18, 2008 Corina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who must analyze as they swoon
Shelves: theory
The nerdiest book I reach for when falling in love or feeling heartbroken. A semiotic study of many moods and flavors of romantic love:


4. As a jealous man, I suffer four times over: because I am jealous, because I blame myself for being so, because I fear that my jealousy will wound the other, because I allow myself to be subject to a banality: I suffer from being excluded, from being aggressive, from being crazy, and from being common.

"The Uncertainty of Signs"
whether he seeks to pro
Sull’amore la penso come Proust e come gl’intellettuali un pò snob di cui parla Barthes (una volta tanto!), che lo considerano una malattia, una specie di raffreddore: “deve fare il suo corso”. Si può stare anche molto male, ma è molto improbabile che si muoia (salve predisposizioni a complicazioni, rare). Poi, passa.
Questo libro per me è un cardine della studio della patologia, che peraltro non definisce come tale (però lo chiama incidente). Dopo averlo letto ogni ammalato si sentirà più tranq
I had one friend in particular-- I'm sure most of us have-- who, somewhere around his fifth drink, was vulnerable to going into the "why don't girls liiiiiiike me?" bitchfest, and, if interested in someone, "why doesn't (X) liiiiiike me as much as I liiiiiiike her?"

"Well, sir," I would have said had I read this book by then. "Roland might be a good guy for you to talk to. He'll tell you that if you're the sort of person who prevaricates over things and worries about the meanings of their words,
كتاب غريب جدا فمن ناحية هو تأريخا للعشق من خلال أبطال حقيقيين أو خياليين,ومن ناحية أخري قد تعتبره هلوسات شخص مجنون
بعض الفقرات لن تفهمها ما لم تشعر بها من قبل أي إذا كنت عاشقا....
يحتاج للقراءة أكثر من مرة ,فبعض المصطلحات كانت صعبة وتحتاج للتوضيح وإن كانت أغلبها مشكلات في الترجمة التي كانت سيئة في رأي الشخصي

العنوان معبر جدا فهو عبارة عن شذرات يجمعها احساس مشترك بين أكثر من عاشق وقرارهم الكتابة عن هذا الإحساس
تقسيم الكتاب غريب فهناك فصل للغيرة ,للغياب ,لألم الحب ,للفراق ,لكلمة أحبك , للدموع ,وأشياء
cacher / to hide
A deliberative figure: the amorous subject wonders, not whether he should declare his love to the loved being (this is not a figure of avowal), but to what degree he should conceal the turbulences of his passion: his desires, his distresses; in short, his excesses (in Racinian language: his fureur).

Yet to hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen:
Ahmad Sharabiani
اگر عاشق شدید سخن عاشق را بخوانید

A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, Roland Barthes
نام کتاب: سخن عاشق؛ عنوان فرعی:: گزیده گویه ها؛ نویسنده: رولان بارت ؛ مترجم: پیام یزدانجو؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر مرکز، تعداد صفحه: ۳۱۲، چاپ: چاپ اول، ۱۳۸۳؛ چاپ چهارم، ۱۳۸۸
When Roland Barthes looks at the language of love it becomes something almost sinister. Whenever I say "I Love You," it gives me a couple of moments of serious thinking!
خیلی خب بود مخصوصا وقتی از ورتر مثال میزد. خیلی صادقانه و ملموس بود انگار یکی از عاشق بودن عکس گرفته بود اونم با کیفیت بالا
Mark Folse
Roland Barthes is Miller Heavy, everything you don’t want in a French intellectual author only more, but I find I can’t stop reading A Lover’s Discourse. Is it my own nature to be smitten by impossible women that keeps me glued to the page after page of unsettling discourse on love as neurosis, as fixation, as something akin to demonic possession, his furor werthrinus? (Hint: Goethe). I certainly see myself in his pages, my Gemini nature to project exactly his desires onto people (women) I find ...more
This is a powerful book.

Of all the philosophical graffiti written on the backs of bathroom doors when I was in college, my favorite was a simple survey: Are you in love or in love with the idea of love? Most people chose the latter.

Barthes tackles the depth and breadth of the idea of love, in all its agony and ecstasy. There are meditations on waiting, on jealousy, on how love at first sight is like rape. Barthes tackles the ideas of Werther, Nietzsche, Freud, and sprinkles the etymology of vari
Full on literary destruction of my soul. So good but... I feel like I was told all about myself, read the riot act and THEN rode hard and put away wet. Maybe in a good way though? Maybe in the best way?

This should be a five but I couldn't help but dock a full star for the number of mother/maternal/oedipus/childhood references. Can't deal with that. Otherwise? Outstanding, if hard to read. Barthes is so spot on and devastating in his observations of the behavior of people in various stages of lov
En Fragmentos de un Discurso Amoroso, Roland Barthes se hace cargo del amor-pasión, tema que declara no ha sido abordado por ningún sistema de pensamiento importante, relegando esta estructura discursiva tan importante en nuestras vidas a la soledad.
El discurso amoroso no es gregario y por esto nos hace susceptibles de caer en muchas trampas al no poder distinguir entre estereotipo y "voluntad". Pero Barthes no es cínico y en el apartado "Átopos" confiere al amor-pasión la posibilidad de una re
روان پريش با ترس از سقوط سر مي كند.اما ترس بيمارگونه از سقوط ترس از آشوبي است كه پيش از اين تجربه شده(رنج ازلي)....و لحظاتي هست كه يك بيمار نياز دارد به او بگويند سقوط،كه ترس از آن زندگي اش را به فلاكت كشانده، پيش از اين رخ داده.به نظر مي رسد كه،اضطراب عاشق هم اين گونه است:اين ترس از ماتمي است كه پيش از اين عارض شده،از هم آغاز عشق،از همان اولين لحظه كه مفتون شدم.يك نفر بايد باشد كه به من بگويد:ديگر مضطرب نباش،تو پيش از اين او را از دست داده اي
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Barthes never attempts to give us a uniform narrative about love. Instead he provides us with fragments--some from literature, others his own thought--from a quite uncommon perspective, that of a lover when alone; not of an exchage between lovers, a shared love. I can't say the book teaches anything, but it certainly leads the reader to look at the subject of love in an entirely different way.
Apr 22, 2014 Gabriela rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who wonder about the philosophy of love, derrida fans
A list of "figures" that constitute the essence of thought about the idea of love. A love de-constructed in a terminology so powerful and sentimental, from the lover's point of view. An incredible source of inspiration on love itself, the idea, a glimpse into the myth of objectivity of love. Chapters are organised as "ideas", thoughts, or "feelings" - these are the figures. Fragments of the idea of love, in no specific order, as mentioned in the beginning of the book. I absolutely marvel into th ...more
Todd B Stevens
This one is really messing with my head at the moment. Love, and theory... a strange conversation, but it also is surprisingly upbeat compared to Kristeva and the feminists.

From the introduction:

"The necessity for this book is to be found in the following consideration: 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, di
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man 1 44 Feb 11, 2009 06:36AM  
  • Minima Moralia
  • In Praise of Love
  • Illuminations
  • Tales of Love
  • Six Memos For The Next Millennium
  • Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
  • The Poetics of Space
  • America
  • Of Grammatology
  • Against Interpretation and Other Essays
  • Erotism: Death and Sensuality
  • The History of Sexuality 3: The Care of the Self
  • Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext(e) Reader
  • The Practice of Everyday Life
  • On Being Blue
Roland Barthes was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. Barthes' work extended over many fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, Marxism and post-structuralism.
More about Roland Barthes...
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“Am I in love? --yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn't wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover's fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.” 373 likes
“You see the first thing we love is a scene. For love at first sight requires the very sign of its suddenness; and of all things, it is the scene which seems to be seen best for the first time: a curtain parts and what had not yet ever been seen is devoured by the eyes: the scene consecrates the object I am going to love. The context is the constellation of elements, harmoniously arranged that encompass the experience of the amorous subject...

Love at first sight is always spoken in the past tense. The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory (the nature of a photograph is not to represent but to memorialize)... this scene has all the magnificence of an accident: I cannot get over having had this good fortune: to meet what matches my desire.

The gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill, for a time, the subject's dream of total union with the loved being: The longing for consummation with the other... In this moment, everything is suspended: time, law, prohibition: nothing is exhausted, nothing is wanted: all desires are abolished, for they seem definitively fulfilled... A moment of affirmation; for a certain time, though a finite one, a deranged interval, something has been successful: I have been fulfilled (all my desires abolished by the plenitude of their satisfaction).”
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