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Roland Barthes

“Charlus takes the narrator's chin and slides his magnetized fingers up to the ears "like a barber's fingers." This trivial gesture, which I begin, is continued by another part of myself; without anything interrupting it physically, it branches off, shifts from a simple function to a dazzling meaning, that of the demand for love. Meaning (destiny) electrifies my hand: I am about to tear open the other's opaque body, oblige the other (whether there is a response, a withdrawal, or mere acceptance) to enter into the interplay of meaning: I am about to make the other speak. In the lover's realm, there is no acting out: no propulsion, perhaps even no pleasure -- nothing but signs, a frenzied activity of language: to institute, on each furtive occasion, the system (the paradigm) of demand and response.”


Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments
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A Lover's Discourse: Fragments A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes
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