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A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by…
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A Lover's Discourse: Fragments (original 1977; edition 2010)

by Roland Barthes, Richard Howard (Translator), Wayne Koestenbaum (Foreword)

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1,564107,866 (4.27)14
"Barthes's most popular and unusual performance as a writer is "A Lover's Discourse," a writing out of the discourse of love. This language-- primarily the complaints and reflections of the lover when alone, not exchanges of a lover with his or her partner-- is unfashionable. Thought it is spoken by millions of people, diffused in our popular romances and television programs as well as in serious literature, there is no institution that explores, maintains, modifies, judges, repeats, and otherwise assumes responsibility for this discourse . . . Writing out the figures of a neglected discourse, Barthes surprises us in "A Lover's Discourse" by making love, in its most absurd and sentimental forms, an object of interest."-- Jonathan Culler… (more)
Member:jpmuzzall
Title:A Lover's Discourse: Fragments
Authors:Roland Barthes
Other authors:Richard Howard (Translator), Wayne Koestenbaum (Foreword)
Info:Hill and Wang (2010), Edition: Tra, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Read in 2012
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A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes (1977)

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» See also 14 mentions

English (8)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I read this, as is only appropriate, in fragments, starting back in the summer. I might read two or three fragments with my morning coffee before I had to leave for class, or at the table in my family home between conversations with the people always coming and going from the main room here.

This is one of those rare books that lives up to my imagination of it, a perfect collision of high academic theory and the most mutable intangible realm of feeling. I took down passages all the time, such beautiful renderings of how desperately humans seek to connect to one another, to know one another, to know ourselves. How deeply we fail at it sometimes. How rich the something-like-it we achieve might be. This mix of head-and-heart, this sympathetic over-intellectualizing of emotions is as worthwhile as it is impractical and in vain. I sincerely love it. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
«Non si tratta di un manuale: non vi dirà come comportarvi né che cosa fare per togliervi dall'affanno e dall'ingombro di un abbandono. Non ha trama, se non quella dell'indagine dei movimenti amorosi. Ogni capitolo è indipendente: potete leggerne uno oggi e il seguente fra cinque anni, Roland Barthes vi darà comunque uno specchio bellissimo per riflettere, pensare, decidere, paragonare la vostra storia a quella di Werther o a un haiku giapponese; vi darà un respiro piú ampio in cui emettere il vostro rantolo e, improvvisamente, la coscienza del vostro amore si rafforzerà».
Pier Vittorio Tondelli
  vecchiopoggi | Feb 12, 2016 |
[4.5]

Wow! This guy knows how to talk about love. His prose is some of the best I've ever read and everything just flowed so well. I'd had some previous notion that Barthes would be difficult or confusing to read and understand, but it was so easy. Every idea that he discussed made sense and it felt that it was the perfect and most honest way of describing that particular idea or topic.

I guess that's why I feel it is so hard to describe or explain because he's already done it so perfectly. There is no way to sum up what he's already said. It is the ultimate way to express these feelings.

This is the one of those books that deserves/needs multiple reads because it is beautiful and life/love-affirming. I guess in some parts he gets a bit depressing but it's a hopeful kind of sadness. That this type of sadness is just the reaction to a bigger, better happiness.

I think the only way I can summarise this book is that it is the most beautifully put prose, detailing the emotions and experiences one is bound to go through when in love. It is perfection and I absolutely recommend it to anyone that prefers their prose to encapsulate, comfort and inspire. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 20, 2015 |
[4.5]

Wow! This guy knows how to talk about love. His prose is some of the best I've ever read and everything just flowed so well. I'd had some previous notion that Barthes would be difficult or confusing to read and understand, but it was so easy. Every idea that he discussed made sense and it felt that it was the perfect and most honest way of describing that particular idea or topic.

I guess that's why I feel it is so hard to describe or explain because he's already done it so perfectly. There is no way to sum up what he's already said. It is the ultimate way to express these feelings.

This is the one of those books that deserves/needs multiple reads because it is beautiful and life/love-affirming. I guess in some parts he gets a bit depressing but it's a hopeful kind of sadness. That this type of sadness is just the reaction to a bigger, better happiness.

I think the only way I can summarise this book is that it is the most beautifully put prose, detailing the emotions and experiences one is bound to go through when in love. It is perfection and I absolutely recommend it to anyone that prefers their prose to encapsulate, comfort and inspire. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 17, 2015 |
Love has been written and sung about since our species first learned to produce language, and its effects on the emotions, the heart, the personality and the body have been studied, recorded, analysed and celebrated from the dawn of history. What interests Barthes more than these however, is the effect of love on the mind, on the intellect, specifically that part of the mind which produces language. For Barthes, love exists as an outpouring of language: “I’m so in love!” “I love you so much!”, “I love him”, “I love her” etc. Love exists, then, in its most developed form, as an ejaculation, as discourse produced by the lover, whether mental or uttered. What Barthes does is to focus on this discourse, but in such a way as to enact it rather than to analyse it.

Read the full review on The Lectern. ( )
4 vote tomcatMurr | Sep 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roland Barthesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Howard, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelikán, ČestmírTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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