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Mourning Diary

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  899 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
A major discovery: The lost diary of a great mind—and an intimate, deeply moving study of grief

The day after his mother's death in October 1977, the influential philosopher Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning. Taking notes on index cards as was his habit, he reflected on a new solitude, on the ebb and flow of sadness, and on modern society's dismissal of grief. These
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Hill and Wang (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brian by: Proustitute
2013 is the ten year anniversary of my mother’s death.

Pre-dawn, Las Vegas, August 17. “I’m sorry to wake you,” my sister’s voice through the receiver, “but Mom died last night.”

C.S. Lewis: No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

Barthes’ book; this diary. Words are wrenched from suffering. A day’s events are distilled and filtered through the lens of loss. Every ache, an intensity that wounds anew. Barthes: At each “moment” of suffering, I believe it to be the very one in which for the
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Diane by: Rowena
Shelves: memoirs, grief
This is a book that was very meaningful to me, but it is not something I would widely recommend. It was such a personal read that I even had trouble discussing it with friends.

When Roland Barthes' mother died on October 25, 1977, he started writing notes about his grief. This mourning diary covers nearly two years, and some passages were so moving and powerful that they felt poetic. This book was published after Barthes' death (tragically, he died just a few years after his mother, due to compli
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
“That’s how I grasp my mourning. Not directly in solitude, empirically, etc.; I seem to have a kind of ease, of control that makes people think I’m suffering less than they would have imagined. But it comes over me when our love for each other is torn apart once again. The most painful point at the most abstract moment…”- Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary

I doubt I’d have picked this book up had it not been for my uncle’s recent death. Grief isn't the sort of thing I exactly want to think about but
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
Barthes' mother died on October 25, 1977. Her son, Roland, being an invalid-type had been nursed and coddled by her most of his life, but in their years of his mother's illness adopted the role of nurse himself. Barthes' relationship with his mother was one of extreme intimacy: he lived with her his whole life, and when she passed the world as he knew it changed irremediably. TO chronicle this change he kept a "mourning diary" in which he scrawled away, inconsistently over the proceeding two yea ...more
cristina c
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nell'Ottobre del '77 Roland Barthes perde sua madre; il padre era morto quando lui era piccolissimo e forse questo fatto, unito a screzi e difficoltà di rapporti col resto della famiglia materna, aveva reso il loro rapporto esclusivo dandogli una connotazione più simile ad un rapporto di coppia che filiale.
Dal giorno successivo alla morte e per circa due anni Barthes tiene una sorta di diario; sono annotazioni di stati d'animo, sprazzi di ricordi, brevi riflessioni. Frammenti di un discorso dol
Miss Ravi
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, 1394
سطرهایش، جملههای کوتاه و کلمات گزینششدهاش غمی دارند برآمده از ذهن انسانی که متفاوت است. و تفاوتش در نگاه اوست و در فکرهایش.

رولان بارت در این کتاب فیلسوف غمگینی است که هیچ تسکینی ندارد. جدیت جملههایی که در کتاب و مقالات دیگرش دارد در اینجا فرو میپاشند و بهجایاش اندوهی مینشیند که ثمرهی بیچون و چرای سوگواری است. رولان بارت، اینجا پسری است که مادرش را، برای همیشه از دست داده است. حالا ترکشدگی، تنهایی و رنج تنها دارایی او هستند.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
تا حالا با خوندن هيچ كتابى انقدر غمگين نشده بودم،
این کتاب یادداشتهای روزانهی بارت است پس از مرگ مادرش.
جانسوز و فوقالعاده.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ما فراموش نمىكنيم، بلكه چيزى خالى در ما آرام مىگيرد. ...more
Michael Palkowski
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
The existence of this book is interesting ethically at least because it is invasive reproduction of a writer's own private scribblings on index cards sutured together for the sake of commercial ends. Ethics aside, the content is really staggeringly aphoristic, infinitely quotable and full of concise instantiated grievance. The observations however require a specific frame of mind to read and the fragmentary nature of the notes does mean that a linear reading is almost fruitless, except if readin ...more
Pardis Parto
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بیرحمانهترین قضاوت درباره «خاطرات سوگواری» این است که مالیخولیای نویسنده این کتاب را تنها یک سخنرانی پراکنده در عزای مادرش بدانیم. درست است که رولان بارت نوشتن این یادداشتها را درست از روز مرگ مادرش آغاز کرده اما کتاب که به نیمه میرسد، مخاطب احساس میکند که دیگر تنها ماجرای مرگ مادر نویسنده در کار نیست؛ بارت، گویی از این خاطرات، دریچهای رو به موضوع «فقدان» باز کرده و در حال نگریستن به مقوله «ازدستدادن» در سطوح مختلفی است که انسان را دچار غم، اندوه و سردرگمی خودش میکند. اگر کسی را از دست دادهاید، ...more
„Seit Mam.s Tod keine Lust, irgend etwas ‚aufzubauen‘, außer im Schreiben. Warum? Literatur = der einzige Bereich der Vornehmheit (wie Mam. es war).“
Mohammed Yusuf
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
للمذكرات لغتها البسيطة مهما كان كاتبها حتى لو كان فيلسوفا تصعب قراءته في أعماله الأساسية ، حين نقرأها كأنا نتوق الى معرفة جانب اخر من الكاتب جزء من تكوينه ، تاثير الحياة على كتاباته ، الذي هو بالقدر نفسه فضول معرفي

طريقة بارت في كتابة هذه الشذرات لا تجعلنا نعايش حياته كاملة بل اللحظات منها في قمة تجريديتها ، أراهن أنه لو قرأنا أو مررنا معه في كل هذه اللحظات سنرى شيئا مختلفا بهذا الكتاب ، لا نصفه وكأنه نفاقا حتما ولكن ربما نعامله بإندهاش و عدم تصديق ، لأنها كلحظات هي مهمة لكن بالنسبة له فقط ، ربما
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Barthes recorded his experience of mourning on little slips of paper over the two years following his mother's death. He expressed so many things exactly as I've thought them -- the existential shock of her sudden nonexistence, the confusion over the present tense, the fear of the catastophe that has already happened and CANNOT happen again, the confusion of finality in the midst of your own numbing, ongoing-ness, the agony and guilt of symbolic rebirth, the sudden marking of before and after, a ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En août dernier, nous étions passés à Urt sur la tombe de Roland Barthes et de sa mère, Henriette Binger.

Le hasard veut que le Seuil, avec la coopération de l'IMEC, publie aujourd'hui le Journal de deuil que le fils a tenu à la mort de sa mère en 1977, et ce pendant deux ans.

Brèves notes sur la douleur pour la plupart, les textes de Barthes abordent abordent parfois, mais très en surface, les oeuvres sur lesquelles l'écrivain travaillait à l'époque. Barthes s'interroge aussi sur la douleur, su
Mostly Lit
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
You're never finished with books like this.
Mana H
این کتاب عنقریب به فارسی منتشر خواهد شد
با دو ترجمه، یکی خوب یکی افتضاح
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For writers grief is either a blessing or a curse because they are able to articulate with exacting detail, the nature of their sorrow. This is a lovely book.
Hayder Hasan
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have taken my time reading this because I needed to put myself in a certain mood to be able to fully appreciate it.
This was an extremely beautiful and heart-wrenching journey. This diary is so raw and vulnerably honest. You can feel his mourning in your bones.
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
از کتاب «خاطرات سوگواری» چه می آموزیم؟
راهنمای مقابله ادبی با مرگ عزیزان

«از این که در نهایت می توانم با رنجم زندگی کنم، شگفت زده می شوم.»
– رولان بارت، خاطرات سوگواری

بی رحمانه ترین قضاوت درباره «خاطرات سوگواری» این است که مالیخولیای نویسنده این کتاب را تنها یک سخنرانی پراکنده در عزای مادرش بدانیم. درست است که رولان بارت نوشتن این یادداشت ها را درست روز مرگ مادرش آغاز کرده اما کتاب که به نیمه می رسد، مخاطب احساس می کند که دیگر تنها ماجرای مرگ مادر نویسنده در کار نیست؛ بارت، گویی
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Точно това исках да прочета отдавна. Удивителен Ролан Барт! - пише за неописуемото - мъката, страданието след загубата най-скъпия човек. Пише така, че го преживяваш и неговата мъка оживява в теб. Прочетох книгата за няколко часа, с много повторения и връщане. И веднага я започнах пак. Никъде другаде не съм чела нещо толкова добре написано за мъката и страданието. И през цялото време ми напомняше за Ромен Гари ("Обещанието на зората") и за силната му връзка с неговата майка. Кой, ако не французин ...more
Sad and beautiful. I wonder if we all feel this way when we lose person meaningful to us. If so, I'm already saddened and afraid.

There is something terribly genuine about this book; maybe the fact that it wasn't supposed to be published, that was written on slips of paper throughout the period of almost two years and that this period of grief was very unhealthy for Barthes and thwarted him from leading any normal social or academic life he was leading prior to this event.
What is even sadder, p
Jeremy Allan
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began reading this journal on the eve of a difficult break-up and was amazed at how appropriate Barthes' expressions and ruminations on grief were to me at the time. Finishing the collection months later, it is hard not to see the writings as slightly histrionic and over-wrought. To read this when happy is almost to find it unrelatable; to read it while in grief, well that is to find many degrees of resonance.

I think this journal is of value, though, even for the reader who is happily exempt
His meditations on loss, mortality, grief, and love are necessary, emotional, pure, outside of any pretentiousness. Easy - possible - to read in the sense of the mourning being so open you're able to look it in the eyes, so no paralysing fear of not knowing.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read2011
A quick read of the notes Barthes made to himself the two years after his mother died. He died not long after in an unfortunate accident, and I wish he had a chance to compile his thoughts. They are scattered, they are long-lasting, a very good capture of what mourning is really like.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
a beautiful, sad and utterly clear insight into that strange phenomenon of mourning for your loved one
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-i-ve-read
To write suffering is not easy, so reading this is such a relief.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-biography
Since this is a diary, that by the way was not meant to be published, I knew going in that it would be a slightly different read than usual, but let me just say that it was a bit strange. Roland Barthes, a literary theorist, philosopher, and linguist, wrote this immediately after the trauma of his mother’s death. There were some wonderful quotes, which I’m listing below, but other than that, this was quite boring. I may have appreciated it somewhat if I was familiar with Barthes’s work.

Some quo
John Jr.
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: journals-diaries
One is told by the publisher's description that this book illuminates themes that Roland Barthes tackled in his other work. I can't judge the extent to which that's true; I've read very few of his other books. But it also reveals him to have been a man much like other men (rather, as American propriety suggests we should say, a person much like other persons) in his susceptibility to suffering over the loss of one he loved: his mother. No knowledge of Barthes's work is called for; no interest in ...more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Much less meditative than I thought it would be - was expecting something more akin to Lewis' A Grief Observed - but it was still really affecting...

"There is a time when death is an event, an adventure, and as such mobilizes, interests, activates, tetanizes. And then one day it is no longer an event, it is another duration, compressed, insignificant, not narrated, grim, without recourse: true mourning not susceptible to any narrative dialectic."

"...that this death fails to destroy me altogether
Meric Aksu
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
October 29 : "The measurement of mourning(Dictionary Memorandum) eighteen months for mourning a father, a mother." Then Barthes starts telling what he felt during these eighteen months. Not hours, not weeks; one and a half year, including days and nights. He didn't have a chance. He couldn't run, he couldn't escape. From that moment there would be nothing between him and the grave. He was very close now to death when he became parentless on earth. Barthes's diary tells us all his loneliness with ...more
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futuromania 2 7 Jun 29, 2015 06:03AM  
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Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic, and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, social theory, design theory, anthropology and post-structuralism.
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“Don't say mourning. It's too psychoanalytic. I'm not mourning. I'm suffering.” 54 likes
“I have not a desire but a need for solitude.” 21 likes
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