Roland Barthes

“I cannot write myself. What, after all, is this "I" who would write himself? Even as he would enter into the writing, the writing would take the wind out of his sails, would render him null and void -- futile; a gradual dilapidation would occur, in which the other's image, too, would be gradually involved (to write on something is to outmode it), a disgust whose conclusion could only be: what's the use? what obstructs amorous writing is the illusion of expressivity: as a writer, or assuming myself to be one, I continue to fool myself as to the effects of language: I do not know that the word "suffering" expresses no suffering and that, consequently, to use it is not only to communicate nothing but even, and immediately, to annoy, to irritate (not to mention the absurdity). Someone would have to teach me that one cannot write without burying "sincerity" (always the Orpheus myth: not to turn back). What writing demands, and what any lover cannot grant it without laceration, is to sacrifice a little of his Image-repertoire, and to assure thereby, through his language, the assumption of a little reality. All I might produce, at best, is a writing of the Image-repertoire; and for that I would have to renounce the Image-repertoire of writing -- would have to let myself be subjugated by my language, submit to the injustices (the insults) it will not fail to inflict upon the double Image of the lover and of his other.
The language of the Image-repertoire would be precisely the utopia of language: an entirely original, paradisiac language, the language of Adam -- "natural, free of distortion or illusion, limpid mirror of our sense, a sensual language (die sensualische Sprache)": "In the sensual language, all minds converse together, they need no other language, for this is the language of nature.”


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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