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Derrida - Psyche

Derrida - Psyche

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PSYCH E

Inventions of the Other, Volume I

Edited by Peggy Kamuf and Elizabeth Rottenberg

Jacques Derrida

Stanford University Press

Stanford California
2001

The Deaths of Roland Barthes

§ II

The Deaths of Roland Barthes


I do not yet know, and in the end it really does not matter, if I will be able to make it clear why I must leave these thoughts for Roland Barthes fragmentary, or why I value them less for their fragmentation than for their incompleteness. Their pronounced incompleteness, for their punctuated yet open interruption, without even the authoritative edge of an aphorism. Little stones of thought, each time just one, alongside a name as the promise of return.


How to reconcile this plural? How to concede, grant, or accord it? And to whom? How to make it agree or bring it into accord? And with whom? Such questions must also be heard with an ear to music. With a confident obedience, with a certain abandon that I feel here in it, the plural seems to follow: an order, after the beginning of an inaudible sentence, like an interrupted silence. It follows an order, that's it, and it even obeys; it lets itself be dictated. It asks (for) itself And as for myself, at the very moment I allowed myself to order a plural for these deaths, I too had to give myself over to the law of the name. No objection could resist it, not even the modesty immediately following an uncompromising and punctual decision, a decision that takes place in the almost no time of a (camera's) click: it will have been like this, uniquely, once and for all. And yet I can scarcely bear the apparition of a title in this place. The proper name would have sufficed, for it alone and by itself says death, all deaths in one. It says death even while the name's bearer is still alive. While so many codes and rites work to take away this privilege, because it is so terrifying, the proper name alone and by itself forcefully declares the unique disappearance of the unique-I mean the singularity of an unqualifiable death (and this word "unqualifiable" already resonates like a quotation from one of Roland Barthes's texts that I will reread later). Death inscribes itself right in the name, but so as immediately to disperse itself there, so as to insinuate a strange syntax-in the name of only one to answer as many, to answer to several names in just one name. First French publication in Poetique 47 (September 1981). These thoughts are for him, for Roland Barthes, meaning that I think of him and about him, not only of or about his work. "For him" seems to suggest that I would like to dedicate these thoughts to him, give them to him, and destine them for him. Yet they will no longer reach him, and this must be the starting point of my reflection; they can no longer reach him, reach all the way to him, assuming they ever could have while he was still living. So where do they go? To whom and for whom? Only for him in me? In you? In us? For these are not the same thing, already so many different instances, and as soon as he is in another, the other is no longer the same-I mean, the same as himself. And yet Barthes himself is no longer there. We must hold fast to this evidence, to its excessive clarity, and continually return to it as if to the simplest thing, to that alone which, while withdrawing into the impossible, still leaves us to think and gives us occasion for thought.


(No) more light, leaving something to be thought and desired. To know or rather to accept that which leaves something to be desired, to love it from an invisible source of clarity. From where did the singular clarity of Barthes come? From where did it come to him, since he too had to receive it? Without simplifying anything, without doing violence to either the fold or the reserve, it always emanated from a certain point that yet was not a point, remaining invisible in its own way, a point that I cannot locate-and of which I would like, if not to speak, at least to give an idea, as well as of what he and it remain for me.

desperate. but I have the impression that I may feel certain and that-as families in mourning naively say-he would have liked this thought. though neither he nor I is completely in it. in order to mime and. And second.e. treated himself to them all. endless. I tell myself now that this image likes this thought in me. the connotations. were put in play by him. I like to think of him in spite of the sadness as someone who all the same never renounced any pleasures [jouissance] but. as if· . Roland Barthes's mother. that.of-hi ooks I had nev rea fur. as in those of Blanchot to which he often refers us. as. let's say. I had. She smil~s at him and thus in me since.~ clear. that it smiles at me. cultivated. Or to put it differently. for quite different reasons. has ever kept watch over its author. I believe that he did not believe in this opposition (Nature/History) or in any others. alone against his century. Epicurean.berween-chanee-and. I like to think of Roland Barthes now. so incredulous in the end.. Writing Degree Zero:_ ~stood better its force and necessity beyond all that had previously turned me away from it. I would like to show that the concepts that seemed the most squarely opposed. And so I believed this. the whole of History stands unified and complete in the manner of a Natural Order. as at I have just capitalized Nature and History. If one may say that. a history bound to itself. behind the latter. I read the first and last Barthes. • For a first and a last book. and all the signs of an era from which I had then thought I was taking leave [sortir] and from which it seemed ecessary to take and rescue [sortir] writing. and each book told me what to think of this belief. no one will any longer be able to testify to this: nothing will remain but an indifferent Nature. which. expressing disillusionment and incredulity. so . and from the very beginning: "No one can without formalities pretend to insert his freedom as a writer into the resistant medium of language because. that it rejoices in it here and now.thinl?i Life was going to continue Cthere was sull so much rea~). \ . the rhetoric. for once I am gone. the. I were finally going to see an~know everJ. but ~ history . whom I never knew. so to speak.. With massive frequency in Writing Degree Zero. refined. fundamental and yet disappointed with the essential. with the welcome arvete 0 a aeslre. so intolerable. He would use them only for the time of a passage. already. in itself/within oneself. is this the best sign of fidelity?~ With the uncertain feeling of going toward what is most living. • r the first time. I believe.first and the last. in a metonymic composition. He used to do it almost all the time. First. to quote. I ha'-:."! And again in Camera Lucida: "this couple who I know loved each other.The Deaths of Roland Barthes The Deaths of Roland Barthes everything she breathes life into and revives with pleasure. Camera Lucida. a sadness that was cheerful yet weary. the one for the other. the Winter Garden Photograph. or opposable.zZ rea~~n& die first and last without stopping. They are quotation marks ("this is how you say"). prerte~tlOl\... lonely. • ~ To keep alive. A terrible fortune. as I endure this sadness. ~ichelet conceived/ of History as love's Protest. the one I feel today and the one I always thought I felt in him. far from indicating a hypostatization. smiles at me at this thought. I thus secluded myself ~land as if to convince myself that nothing had been finalized or had come to an end. This light way of mobilizing concepts by playing them against one another could frustrate a certain logic while at the same time resisting it with the greatest force.. History havlllg sx: to become Nature through this collection. the image of the I of Barthes that Barthes inscribed in me.e just read rwo. Writing Degpee-ZerO'"llU6 Camerabuci~ f'brtunate title:. Ever since reading Camera Lucida.:"as perhaps going to come together. But in this book of I953. actually lift up and lighten. as a single volume with~lC I woulCI have sediiaeCi myself on an island. I realize: it is love-as-treasure that is going to disappear forever. the greatest force of play. and it was not only because of the capital letters. ack to back. always letting go without clinging.'? I myself used these capital letters out of mimetism. Later. vacillating terrihlz. whose time and tempo accompanied his death as no other book. but he too played with them. This is a laceration so intense. postponed reading these two books. then. the image of the I of Barthes would have liked this thought.. the movement that I awkwardly and mistakenly call the taking leave or the exit [la sortie] is under way. since the radiant invisibility of a look that he describes to us only as clear.

him alone). The interest in enulwas ~so hi~.ight. upheavals.) T e worCl punctum. and codes. as if the pace. shoots out of it like an arrow.. place. in ( its very image. v m1m rh~~re-al1-af a-sedden gsing to.---u--~t ItS presence orever escapes me. phorogra- . This word "freshness" is his." which nat-urally he was against since it negates the "poignant" in the "studied.. points me. Like him. wounds me. And. fashion.-. likenesses....u.. as always. as if the insistence of the invariable were finally going to be revealed to me as it is in itself-and in something like a detail. taking everything into account: the seaso~. b. I thought I knew and could easily recognize throughout the various "periods" of Ro-land Barthes (what he called "phases" and "genres" in Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes). the mutations. this mark made by a pointed instrum~n~: the word suits me all the better in that . The Deaths of Roland Barthes phy. I think. at once very vlslbl~and hidden (too obvious). though continuously asserting itself from the first ~oo~ right up to that which in the last book was its interruption. the most indecent and most murderous.. what agrees with him and fits him like a garment. / ontyrrgfi ly'iiiarked.. me already_dead in the future anterior and East anterior of my _ photograph. Benjamin's essay and Barthes's last book could very well be the two most signifi~ant texts on the so-called question Of'ttie Referent in the ~oderrftechnolog1Cal a~e. ALthough it seems. and. I was searching like him. o-. and only in fashion for a certain time. The gift and the revocation of the gift. -_ in cinematography. The abSolute singu arity of the other addresses itself to me. as if the negative of an • .Tts minute surface. this prick. a~d expl. first of all. I can no longer suspend. subjects. a free and easy access requiring no I~~or. one meanmg of the word "detail": a point of singularity that punctures the surface of the reproduction-and even the production-of analogies. to identify with him in order to let him speakwithin oneself. the diversity of objects. even thoug1i. as always. fabric.s. (ThIS IS the form of what I was looking for. it is thus tha~ the punctu~t~lLHhotogr'1Fh ricks me.:J) ' analysis and_:hat~ techmcal reproduction. shade. A Latin word exists to designate this wound. bruises rue. at least as it is put to work in Camera Lucida. moreover.oiti~~ the resources of phenomenological as well as structural analysis. rather than by the great themes. for in the situation in which I have been writing since his death. It pierces. as him. ~ts for are-faIDiIGito me. and even if it is a ready-made garment. Yes. And yet I was so grateful for what he said about the "unary photograph. essential to the very category o1'i:he punctum. and it plays e~sential role in the axiomarics of Writing Degree Zero. of corpora and con-texts. then it would appear that the punctum aims at me at the instant and place where I aim at it. that suits and concerns only him. it was from a detail that I asked for the ecstasy of revelation.ess of a reading in ~lation to detail.) "The word suits me all the better m that I ~m were finally going to appear and develop before my eyes. If we were to bring together two different aspects or exposures of th.I Ie? c: 'G2-A The Deaths of Roland Barthes h }<2 _I -. seems to concern only me.. and the other can even b"" me.app-e in-full-l. the Referent that. the instantaneous access to Roland Barthes (himself. tep. (T~ is why the word "Referent" coulet De a problem If It were not xet rrned by the context.-tiInbre. even before becoming a line. resisting Il1 d~fferent ways. or strategies of writing that. the same point divides of itself: this double .. Its very definition is that it addresses itself to me.tI don t yer know them-that IS my certamty-an~ th~~ of allwnnng that matters to me. already recognizable among all others-were all of a sudden going to yield their secret to me as one more secret hidden behind the others (and I was calling secret not only what is intimate but a certai~ way o~ doing things: the inimitable). whether new or very old. and pierces me. in Camera Lucida. as one picks out a garment.. the networks or ruses of economy.I was ~xpecting this access to be provided by a detail. " [Camera Lucida. addresses itself to me.-tone. though resisting nonetheless. in my name. punctuation disorganizes right from the start both the unary ~nd the desire that is ordered in it." the punctum in the studium. But it is always the singularity of the other insofar as it comes to me without being directed toward me."1 268 . it must conform to the inimitable habitus of a unique body.3 (Moving through. a certain mirnerism is at once a duty (to take him into oneself. I would add. he claims to be looking for what comes to him and suits him. from the storeroom of languages.~ ~~ • if I read these two books one after the other. First exposure: "It is this element that nses from the scene. translates. and cut. I was lookng the jreshn. style.-same concept. I was dreaming: as if the point of singularity. and so on. 26]. having already rece~e~ into the past. just try to choose. and gestures of Rolan Barthes-so many obscurely familiar signatures. extending beyond. for a quarter of a century. to make him present and faithfully to represent him) and the worst of temptations. or dIsplacements of terrain. strikes me. this range ofthe dative or accusative that addresse to \ me or destines for me the punctum is. me havinz b een or havi e avmg avmg • llad robe.) Also the solitude that rends the fabric of the same. without being '1 6<Vl present to me. rheories. thus to choose one's words. ~enjamin saw in the analytic enlargement of the fragment ?r mmute signifier ~ point of intersection between the e~~_ I ~ u. something that suits him.

pair studiumlpunctum. This manner is Wiii1istaKably his.. In the liaison as well as in the undoing of the liaison. striped by a detail (punctum) that attracts or distresses me. The interpretation can at first appear somewhat artificial. It is a suppleness that is at once liee. For above all. er. rather. precisely. \\ soon as the punctum ceases tOlYppuse-rneJ'tuazum. a relation to 'spectacle' and adds to it that rather terrible I - • His manner. the referent... without which. all the while \~ remaining h~t-etOg~eous to it. It demonstrates its rigor throughout the book.i contept. and it lasts the time of a book. We are prey to the ghostly power of the supplement. the one with the other.ing of teo .-whether in theorization. the two concepts compromise with each other. and interprets the ._LcalLth~nary photograph" [ibid. "Having thus reviewed the cio!tteinterests t at certam photographs awaken in me.. it must have secretly served him... the uncoded beyond. linked. specious. archives . 26-27l.sometimes even speckled with these sensitive points. even in the impossible choices. And the person or thing photographed is the target. What is to be heard in "composition"? Two things that compose together. it is not entireluliliiugated tQ.:er (phenomenologica~. insofar as it is not traversed.-tmr the haunt. lashed. facilitates a certain composition between the two concepts. it seems. I imagine. a~as we can no longer distinguiShhere between two places. 55l. c~ts. in Cam- fe f. ingenuous. or social intercourse.QQlng by giving us his notes-in all of this we will later hear the music. these wounds are so many points. engenders a very widespread type of photograph (the most widespread in the world). "Life/Death: the paradigm is reduced sl As cliah . The 'V sus of the conceptual opposition is a~i~click. like the unique history of an instrument. 59. 51l. The conceptual rigor of an \ artifact remains supple and playful here. He never departed frCi'inir. and we will later recognize in this a metonymic operation. First. it will be useful to others but it suits perfectly only the one who signs it. it is this unlocatab' i. for punctum is also: sting. '!:he rigor . little hole-and also a cast of the dice. any eidolon emitted by the object. the way in which he displays. The Deaths of Roland Barthes era Lucida and while speaking of his mother. _~gld. at the limits of the moral and even above it. composes with the "always coded" of the studium [Camera Lucida. cut. He gives to them or he welcomes this chance. writing strategies. He makes it yield the greatest amount of meaning. the supple IS a category that I take to be indispensto any description of Barthes's manners. which I read as the extreme refinement of the civility he locates. points me (but also bruises me. and because the photographs I am speaIGng of are m eHect punctuate . as one says of writing or of the mind. these marks. plays with.. on the contrary. speck. unlinked. They compose together. akmg with the apparent "versus" of the slash. because this word retains.. 40l. me" [me poindrel to the" oignant.The Deaths of Roland Barthes it also refers to the notion of punctuation. like an instrument that can't be lent to anyone.. which we migh. in the passage from the "point" to the" ointing._it can e~_be read in the graphics of his writing. and this rigor becomes indistinguishable from its productivity. "The S ctator is ourse ves. and deliee. a kind of little simulacrum. what is just right (justessel-or justice. This virtue of suppleness ~ticed without the least trace of labor or even labor's effacement." but little by little. another exposure. as the ghost of a ~Nel er Ilfe nor deatn. through its root. they would have had no chance of appearing. it is never inscribed in the homogeneous objectivity of the framed space.t!iumlpunctum. in books. it lowers the voice-as in an asjf!e--out of a sense of modesty. haunts it: "it is an ad-I/' dition [supplementl: it is what I add to the photograph and what is none ~ the less already there" [ibid.~ to the specter. for example. it imposes its necessity without concealing the artifact under some putative nature. .o hin s.'Apnotograpfi's punctum is that accident that pricks me. He makes the opposition -. in person. . from its performative fecundity. I deduced that the studium. it never excludes accuracy. ani. ThIS conceptcl a ghost is as scarcely graspa e.. all of us who glance through collections of photographs-in magazines and newspapers. of descriptive or ana)Ytic p~. which I should like to call the Spectrum of the Photograph.. this apparent opposition (studiumlpunctum) does not forbid but. This parenthesis does not enclose an incidental or secondary thought: as it often does. shrewd..he r:~n ~f"':::'e dead" [ibi~. all the while explaining what he is . the "subtle beyond" of the punctum. several pages later. flowing. separated by an insuperable limit. And ) elsewnere. elegant perhaps. but instead inhabits or. albums.. and in the first place. It belongs to it without belonging to it and is unlocatable within it. This secondelement that will istur the stuaium I shall therefore cat! punctum. appear slowly and cautiously in a ( new context. structural.e I c t: yle thing that is there in every photograph: _. is poignant to me)" [ibid. If by "concept" we mean a pre lCatlVe etermination disti~nct opposa6le. In fact. and beyond).

from some other place. that he will not treat the pair of concepts Sand P as essences coming from outside the text in the process of being written. that first Gesang der Fruhe that accords with both my mother's being and my grief at her death. 26]. link. that the punctum gives rhythm to the studium. • For him. As he often does. he is seeing to something else. the completely other.. of giving us an account of what he is doing while he is doing it (what I earlier called his notes). never 'discoursed' in her presence. the punctum in the studium. or point counter study: "at this point in my investigation" [ibid. the accompaniment. He does so with a certain cadence. living in me. as my feminine child" [ibid. to the series of examples he displays and analyzes. with an invisible punctum. more precisely. "The second element will break (or scan) the studium. It does not belong to the corpus of photographs he exhibits. its music. at the bottom of the same page. the voice of the other. With the relationship to scansion already stressed. it captures a relationship of haunting that is perhaps constitutive of every "logic. the "last music": "Or again (for I am trying to express this truth) the Winter Garden Photograph was for me like the last music Schumann wrote before collapsing. If one wishes to transpose them ~. that the frivolous insignificance of language. my inner Law.. useful. the accord. whose brightness or clarity he describes. we supposed. In the ghostly opposition of two concepts. in the pair SIP. Ghosts: the concept of the other in the same. I could not express this accord except by an infinite series of adjectives" [Camera Lucida. In a note. music returns. And elsewhere: "In a sense I never 'spoke' to her.. I would have wanted to avoid not evaluation (if this were possible or even desirable) but all that insinuates itself into the most implicit . studium/punctum. punctum" [ibid.. a punctum that comes to stand in or double for it. At this point. and compose with it. I am now thinking of a musical compo". One could open here a long chapter on Barthes as musician. and pierces me. Music and. he is going to let us hear.. for her. This concept of the photograph photographs every conceptual opposition. U!tima~el! I experienced her. progressively. one must proceed analogically. dead. of all the sophisticated forms of counterpoint and polyphony. though the operation will not be successful unless the other opus. the song. one would discreetly suggest. Yet it irradiates the entire book. that it "scans" it. The radiance compose~ with the wound that signs the book. A sort of radiant serenity comes from his mother's eyes. 92]. he marks the various stages (elsewhere he emphasizes in order to stress and.nusical composition. and ftilS is possible. ~p t~ it. he is no longer speaking of light or of photogr~phy. They irernotIfs." The Deaths of Roland Barthes 273 and irreplaceable way. 55]). according to the tempo. composition: the analogy of the classical sonata. the suspension of images must be the very space of love. one would begin by locating a certain analogy between the two heterogeneous elements S and P Since this relation is no longer one of simple exclusion.wn in terpoint. the other system of composition. Barthes is in the process of describing his way of proceeding.. Hence: "Having thus distinguished two themes ~n Photography (for in general the photographs I liked wer~ constructed In the manner of a classical sonata).. essences that would then lend themselves to some general philosophical signification.The Deaths of Roland Barthes to a simple click. in an ambiguous movement of humility and defiance. 70]. In short. parenthetically. A Latin word exists . This time it is not I who seek it out (as I invest the field of the studium with my sovereign consciousness). to play point counter point.ancteven necessary. C::J • The Winter Garden Photograph: the invisible punctum of the book. the one separating the initial pose from the final print" [ibid. 72]. though we never see it. I could occupy myself With one after the other" [ibid. They carry the truth only within an irreplaceabk. strong as she had been. shoots out of it like an arrow. since the punctual supplement parasites the haunted space of the studium. perhaps. 27]· • I was thinking of a second meaning of composition. the composition is also the music. in the classical sense of tempo. it is this element that rises from the scene. without saying anything of the kind to each other. of the fugue. itself also carries these motifs In a original • It would be necessary to return to the "scansion" of the studium by a punctum that is not opposed to it even though it remains completely other.

cl.. Him in me? In us? In yourB~ what does this mean? That we remain among ourselves? This is true but still a bit too simple.us.o. se"ii:CiJOgeatll15acK to death Q the nernand. to efface oneself in front of and to follow _. all identification. the spectacle of inadequacy.!:Qe. precisely because this point always lets itself be reappropriated by the fabric it tears toward the other. reserved. or to avoid "him").LndecenYLeluralize it. naive. to let him speak. Unfortunately. with having to correct one infidelity by the other. )i'ff"'Qf-:rprrOl3atIon as well. by . Iput To sie-ep. the double wound of speaking of him. For . It is within us but it is not ours. silent... to be content with just quoting. t pomts to aei"th. all rapprochement even.infidelities. attentive. bored.giJ... a network of set forms hem in more and more the pristine freshness of discourse" [Writing Degree Zero. and we do not do as we please with his look. to write at the limit. even though each of us has it at his or her disposal." to write.:. well before these fragments. without ever succeeding. in his own way. and. "If the writing is really neutral . a child or already grown old. fervent. so that each of us can then say that Barthes's thought. I would have wanted to avoid..innumerableigns of life or s death that we might draw from the circumscribed reserve of his texts or ourITieinoi=y. with just accompanying that which more or less directly comes hack or returns to the other. as one speaks of one of the living or of one of the dead.. then Literature is vanquished . so that what is addressed to ~r said of Roland Barthes truly cometfrom the other.. to remain silent.274 The Deaths of Roland Barthes The Deaths of Roland Barthes 275 evaluation in order to return to the coded (once again to the studium)." "colorless. For him. It returns to death. we ot have it available to us like a moment or part of our interiority. i. and thus spare him.. to present to the dead friend within oneself the gift of his innocence. dreadful. But thIS excess of nctelity would end up saying and exchanging nothing.. according to her own place and history. and to prefer. some- -. and often. not to say[jnything that comes back to onese alone. .. an impossible choice: on the one hand. In both cases I disfigure.any. Roland Barthes looks at us (inside each of us.- • TWQ. s. especially here. :And what looks at us may be indifferent. loving. because the studied veil always mends its way. It is not a question here of vanquishing literature but of preventing it from neatly and cleverly sealing up the singular and flawless wound (nothing is more unbearable or laughable than all the expressions of guilt in mourning.oidlng all quotation. fioin _ friendv one risks making him_gi~. But whom? Him? No..) • To write-to him. and to do so right in-frerrt oftilm.ca. l 11 could add f .e. But might it not be better not to get there. or I kill. I know that I have written for him (I always say "him. or at the very least to let oneself be accompanied or prece . counterpoint by th~T~ous evouon or gratitude. to one's own voice... not to succeed. the other: is this the uneasiness that told me to begin with a pl~?'-------- t~ • What I would have wanted to avoid for him is neither the Novel nor the Photograph but something in both that is neither life nor death. or smiling. in short. ~e are left then with having to do and not do both at once. a promise that is not just one of the commonplaces of composition). all its inevitable spectacles).::::.aFF. here and now. From one death. nothing is more unfaithful than a colorless writing.---------- Already.if.one more death t_?death and tlius .t. failure.e again. grateful. and downright childish to come before the dead to ask for their forgiveness? Is there any meaning in this? Unless it is the origin of meaning itself? An origin in the scene you would make in front of others who observe you and who also playoff the dead? A thorough analysis of the "childishness" in question would here be necessary but not sufficient. truncation? (Is it not derisory. mechanical habits are developed in the very place where freedom existed. to address. his speech. I will not succeed in avoiding this. For him I would have wanted." "innocent" writing of which Writing Degree Zero shows at once the historical novelty and the infidelity. as close as possible to the limit but also beyond the "neutral.. 78]. I wound.. ironic. in the end.. memory. and friendship concern only us). thing he himself said before I did (and I will return to this-always the promise of return.

t j j I nothmg-of J nam: . or ~o the ~ame alone . to him. before that in the face of which we have nothing to say and must remain silent. in you. since this nomination cannot become a vocation. Both times between his mother's death and his own-that is. of the Winter Gar~en P~otog. it rushes toward the impossible. Is there. which it imitatea 10 a. even "before" language.. in us that I pass through his name. Perhaps this resemblance is what allows . But since he himself is now inaccessible to this appellation. in an other way. for him. "it achieved for me. marks. undialectical death" [Camera Lucida. My particularity could never again universalize Itself (unless) utopically.The Deaths of Roland Barthes him: but I. 72]. then. as I pronounce his name that is no longer his. no living respect. or the one who. in you.plurality of deaths. But when? For even before the unqualifiable event callea death. another possibility.ealm of calculation. in us) had already begun its work. but only arrows. the species). was it ever? I mean simply. it_ receded death as another death would have done. powerful in an other way. toward him in me. This IS 10 fact whm-ne-saia efore his death. no l?nger had any reason to attune myself to the progress of the supeno~ Life ~or. believe. the initiative. utopically. He said this uniquely. Singular plural.d~lJce. it remains marked by what I read in Camera Lucida. without weakness. What happens around him and is said about him remains 15etween us. But the poignant singularity does not contradict the generality. But once dead. uniquely? The Deaths of Roland Bartbes • When I say Roland Barthes. turned toward his mother and not toward the Mother. j 1 • ( !~e impossible sometimes. beyond the name but still w~thin it. the response. a. and signs it. or the unforeseeable intrusion of the living other also recalls this limit. Mourning began at this point. in the first mark. though for him. another chance except the pain of this plural? And what about metonymy? And homonymy? Can we suffer from anything else? But could we speak without them? I • What we might playfully call the mathesis singularis. address. by writing. Before death Without analogy or sublation. and already recall of him. becomes possible: as a utopia. interiority (of the other in me. for him. 721" before the last death. utopically.ere only. it is him in me that I nam:. With the first nomination. can no longer receive it. after his mother's death=-a life that already resembled death.\ mon measure with any other. as soon as it marks. it does not forbid it from having the force of law. Less. metonymically. inasmuch as they were not yet disturbed or interrupted by-the deathly. as so~n ~s it writes. more and less ) ce[tain of themselves. is impossible and yet takes place. or apostrophe (supposing that this possibility revoked today could ever have been pure}. more than one. before death without name or sentence. More. him bevond his name. might he not be so reduced? No. and without mercy to what is too transparent not to be immediately exceeded: Roland Barthes is thf'" of som~e who can no_l~ng~r hear <lL!2e~he ~eive wnat say here of him. inasmuch as he entrusts it to writing: "Once she was dead I. Living.silence of the other that always comes to recall the limits of a speaking interiority. other in any case. This does ot prevent it from h~ving Deen an ~nforeseeabl~ • outsi e -e. that there is today no respect. the impossible science of the unique being' [Camera Lucida. already in the first language. know. it is certainly him whom I name. The name alone makes possilik tk. Even if I transpose and modify it. ~):_ chance. what is achieved for him "utopically" in front of the Winter Garden Photograph.analogical.ce (the race. 71]. inasmuch as the appearance. And even if the relation between them .m determined to recall. that is. "Unqualifiable" there designates a way of life-it was for a short time his. But ifhis name is no longer his. Beyond analogies. without com. that does not have to expose Itself without respIte. the analogy woul~ be singular. whose project henceforth would become the unique goal of my life" [Camera Lucida. and. • "Unqualifiable" is another word I borrow from him.. .now ?f Roland Barthes. but the chances of the illuslOn wl11beg"reater and lesser. This living attention here comes to tear itself toward that which. one deaw_ More the other. no living attention paid to the other. all the other movements of interiorization were at once more and less powerful.raph. before that which he calls \ "my total. Barthes speaks of utopia at least twice 10 Camera Lucida. Roland Barthes cannot be reduced to that which each or all of us can think.

and each time differently according to the rype of "image" whether photographic or not.Qf at once acknowleq ing the p~~ibiliry of suspending the Referent ~ the reference]' wherever it is found. for it too implies a degr~ . Time eliminates the ~oti(r oflo~dQ. ent"· it does not relate to a present or to a real but. the name of the apparatus anterior to photography that "sarthes opposes to camera obscura. what reveals and what conceals itself. one that has so often gone I unquestioned." 106]. at th~em we b~gin to read "him. here and there. in an other way. it neither shows nor hides itself. no doubt says more than camera lucida. For the rest. the place she had docilely taken without either showing or hiding herself. And she "knew" how to do this so innocently. I can no longer not associate the word "clarity. or when this reading orders us it be a out his writings or about "knew" living. whom we never_:> ) met or had a chance to like or love. sooner or later). his mother. They must decide between presence and absence. This asymbiosis does not exclude a certain modallry. Hence the psyche (the oul). any metonymy in this case. and of . for the other can appear only by disappearing. Barthes cites Blancher: "The essence of the image is to be altogether outside. appears." wherever it appears. - • Clariry once again. and not a being.. Here. there should not be. having the absenceas-presence that constitutes the lure and fascination of the Sirens" [ibid. unrevealed yet manifest. The Deaths of Roland Barthes 279 deciphers in the pose of his mother who is not posing.) • • Without either showing or hiding herself. by its gradual labor. there are at least three possibilities. to the other. In the passage on the camera lucida. all theoretical systems and philosophies. with what he says much earlier of his mother's face when she was a child. 75]. There should not be. slowly erases pain. because for me. that is to say. yet summoning up the depth of any possible meaning. But this carries both presence and absence. He says nothing more and underscores nothing. and rightly so. could not.rhe usual. the "evidential power.r. everything has remaine motion s . without signification. we would not be reducing the specificiry of what he says about photography were we to find it pertinent elsewhere: I would even say everywhere. the "clariry of her face" [Camera Lucida.4 • He insists. as we say. (Taking all differences into account. of -th. r what I have lost is not a Figure (the Mother). for love protests against it ("I could live without the Mother"). Such authors whom we never in." he says. there. according to the most gentle passiviry. 69]. This is what took place.. and authorized signatories.non of'tHe Referent. because it is the "quality" of a child's "soul" that he • Here is a brief and very preliminary classification drawn simply from ) I L common sense: in the time that relates us to texts and to their presumed.Ior the_op~ up-by-f~f tche greatest num~r. of the distinctness or luminosiry. "A soul"-come from the other. but a being. suspending a naive conce.sens o~.. whether himself. It's a matter . I could live without the Mother (as we all do.UoU'leep).contemporaneous (and vice versa).. Not the Figure of the Mother but his mother. upon the adherence of the "photographic refs. but what life remained would be absolutely and entirely unqualifiable (without qualiry)" [Camera Lucida. abour him. and this is love. the unique other. it disorganizes all studied discourses." without initiating the slightest activity. without appearing. • I t La chambre claire. I cannot believe this. Including-In photography. nameable. ) • Without either showing or hiding herself. 47]. but a quality (a soul): not the indispensable. She had already occupied her place "docilely. and yet more inaccessible and mysterious than the thought of the innermost being.The "author" can already': be dead. the light room.The Deaths of Roland Barthes s to transpose the unqualifiable in life into death. The possibiliry of this impossibiliry derails and shatters all uniry." to write. "It is said that mourning. that is all. And he soon adds: "the naive attitude of her hands. of the Photograph [Camera Lucida.. and she neither shows nor hides herself. Psyche without mirror. but the irreplaceable. without intimacy.

For if mourni. or settle our accounts? With the other? With the others outside and inside ourselves? How many voices intersect. curiosities. argue with one another. or even inside ourselves." indeed. undialectical d:th" [ Camera Lucida. and yet so common: still to maneuver. to take 'him ~r side. to showof~ con( [ tract. silence? Is this not another wound. a whole experience . no doubt.. make amends. observe.. . upon or on the occasion of the deaih". if there ever was one). and so forth.280 The Deaths of Roland Barthes The Deaths of Roland Barthes 281 ' / . . another concept of transference is needed (that is.\ teriorization. -But then what. Thus." are we attempting to dlalectize them or. one that attempts to turn the situation to its advantage by means of stratagems that can be analyzed intermmabiy:-tike all the ruses of an individual or collec( tive "work of mourning"? And this so-called work remains here the name of a problem. to finish him off by exalting him. Mourning alliItransference. to whom and of what would we be making a gift? What are we doing when we exchange these discourses? Over wnat are w keeping watch? Are we trying to negate death or retain it? Are we trying to put things in order. we can meet them after having begun to read them (I have such a vivid memory of my first meeting with Barthes). an ~p-riori mourning rich in possibility. to reduce him in any case to what can still be contained by a literary or rhetorical performance. we a tecte rom a return of the dead? Or are we going to make tb~d our ally ("the ea wit me"). and it is here that psychoanalysts would perhaps disagree. to talk on a theme that we confidently believe would have interested the author who has passed away (whose tastes. We can.~ efit. in the~ritings "in memory" of t~. but jus?roUowing the death. loved. A piece [morceau] of myself like a piece of the dead [mort]. I remember him saying: "Self-analysis is not transferential. The worst ones-or the worst in each of them-are either base or derisory." No doubt. it seems. but offenses nonetheless: to pay homage with an essay that treats the work or a part of the work bequeathed to us. some analysis or "study. but it plays in another way. . and so on. When we take the possibility of writing into account. or when this reading orders us to write about them. and because it is in this case too serious). There are.__. and there are any number of means of communication to bring about the transition: photographs. secOildPossibility is that the authors are living when we are reading them. kno~ th~m or'rrot. no longer surprise us). particularly when it proceeds through writing and literature. 72]). And the situation can change in this regard. of course. Plato or John of Patrnos) or whose authors are still living at the time I write. And then there is a "third" situation: at "the death and after the death \ 'Of those whom we also "knew. as1 would wan~ the contrary? But here we are at a limit where wanting is more than ever '\ found wanting." would seem at that moment completely unbearable." "on the occasion of the death. not long after the death by returning to it. that it is ir .*atthe commemorative gatherings and tributes. who while living would have been my friends. ~ther sii~ l~o draw from the dead a supplementary \ ~o be turned against the living. love them or not.-ce whose originality I cannot really describe fiere. But what (thought impossible. to speculatel to try_to. y:ou will. and once havmg met them. to raise oneself to the very heights where we presume death has placed the other beyond all uspicion. and projects should.." met.. to authonze an legitimate oneself."')\. what long ag~ and more or less secretly and resolutely I had promised myself never to do (out of a concern for rigor or fidelity.this is always the most risky. ""!rdeath hat oland Barthes called "un dialectical" ("I could do no more than await my total. not after. lesser offenses. In a-discusslOn wifl1 ean Ristanil:5OlittFie "practice of writing" and self-analysis. hearsay.. In say~ ! ( "tl'reaeaths. indecent. it does so only to dialectize death. another insult? -To whWn"'"? -Yes. For there is. toaeiiOUrlce or insult them more of less -dIrectly..-g works. tape recordings. I have had occasion to write about or in the wake of texts whose authors were dead long before I read them (for example. it plays more-and the difference in the play is essential here. still transference in self-analysis. and it would seem rhat. knowrng-rharthey are / \ ) ~ve.. and this invol~es a b'if~r~tio~ of ~~e same possibility. correspondence. and correct one another. Such a treatment would I _. I • l --- ' ___ For what was earlier called "following the death. passionately embrace or pass by one another in silence? Are we going to seek some final evaluation? For ex Ie to convince ourselves that the death ne er took place." we have a whole series of typical solutions. was to write following the death... still present enough to me that some "declaration.r a6se. and unJustina e.

finally. everything he wrote. From the Novel to the Photograph. especially when it permitted one to callout directly to the dead." I must concern myself first with thISthought of a death that begins. But because of its caricatured excess. as if he were saying. the overstatement of this rhetoric at least pointed out that we were obliged to remain no longer among ourselves. and at the heart of this critical language. Using their hotographs to bring them to justice. in Poetique. with a politeness that revealed a rigorous demand. on the theme of Death. or simply because they were away. having resort~ to ~y such language to whatever degree. his texts on death. one has to do it. those deaths that always form i~. to undertake some analysis. and he said so.paper a. a certain thought of death set everything in mo- r ____. the pretexts for taking a stand. between several discourses. on death. 't ose he must have linked together. In any case. dared to put on trial those who deliberately. though only for a time. And.or. the time of a passage. and I am doing it now).t of jo. for it is always the dead in me.and. For example. the political perspectives.) In Its classical form._dead in us though other still. with such insistence on displacement.. And then. from Writing Degree Zero (1953) to Camera Lucida (1980). upon Sartre's death. on radio and television. if you will.IJifu12g and endless series. And yet he was already else) where. ~ idiosyncratic destiny na·ively assumed. ~~d to do so with his meticulousness and Vigilance.erate resistance to any reductive slstem. For example. (I am thinking of the weekly newspaper that.r.one would tailor one's remarks according to the context. But what "genre"? Well. the exploitations by individuals and groups. one expressive. on a s. 1 would gently leave it and seek elsewhere: I began to s. the rhetorical constraints. his deaths. "I feel that I have little time left. all the new scientific posirivsms whose novelty always tempted the AujJ7Jirer a.. 8) ) / • The deaths of Roland Barthes: his deaths. and the religious promises of an afterlife could indeed still gra t t IS 'aSir'" The Deaths of Roland Barthes ginning with his mother's death). This is of course a supplementary fiction. had said nothing or had said the wrong thing. (Camera Lucida. of those close to him. those he lived in the plural. and dea~~ 'is clearly hol for rrething in this (it will be necessary to return to this in another tone). like thought and like death. orienting tombs in his inner space (ending and no doubt be- / The beyond of this journey is no doubt the great headland and enig~ of the Referent. Whil~stillliving. which. tfie ftineril oration a good side.But how did1ie'1iVe' tern? No answer is more impossible or forbidden.r. and of psychoanalysis-but [1 tell myself] that. or reconciling. for example. all this passes through the Novel as early . for threatening. I could feel a sort of autobiographical acceleration. if indeed there is such a theme. for reasons of ethics or fidelity). we could analyze the recurrences. as uncompromlsmg as they were. in the memory of the idiom. The interactions of the living must be interrupted. but it would also. by ultimate dissatisfaction with all of them. of semiology.ccused the~ all~he headline of still being afraid ( of Sartre. always the others standing around the coffin to whom I callout in this way.pay.!lCUllscov~r in him. to analyze a g~e or Iscursive code. each time 1 felt it hardening and thereby tending to reduction and reprimand.ir back. he "{rotea death of Roland Barthes by himself. the time of a contribution that. still knew how to yield with a certain disabused compassion. intimidating. situating places and solemn moments. that is. all forms of kiiowledge. those of sociology. after him. as it has been called for the past twenty years. For each time.urney toward the beyond of Il closed systems. would become indispensable. 1 was bearing witness to the only sure thing that was in me (however naive it might be): a des£. the veil must be torn toward the other. or rathe~et it traveling. His deaths. what in tM century has come to replace t e uneral oratio~ We could study the \ corpus of declarations in newspapers.eak differently. the othe. a nonchalant elegance that would make him give up the fight (though I sometimes saw him get angry. to stress the immense role Barthes's works have played and will continue to play in the open field of literature and literary theory (this is legitimate. or the ~ of a_P~ticular s~cial arrangement. the news. the other critical. why not. I h naa lon. sometimes very informally [tutoyerl. In the beginning of Camera Lucida he tells-and tells himself-of his "discomfort" at always being the subject torn between two languages. Yet a certain movement had quickened in those last years. as an exercise made possible and influenced by Barthes (an initiative that would gain approval in us through the memory of him). trymg irrvarn 0 "dialectize" them before the "total" and "undialectical" death. those deaths that must have inhabited him. an uncompromising ethic. he would speak openly about this with a calculated modesty.The Deaths of Roland Barthes still point out the debt.

Though it is no .. ~ e-. b~t th~dlate proof giv~n y t e photographic apparatus or by the ( structure of the remains it leaves behind are irreducible events.... Roland Barthes traversed periods. call it the intentional movement of refe.ref\ erence taJing ~ry different paths. linguistics. the referen~ adheres. a piece come . showing and hiding itself at the same time (Mallarrne and Blanchot. the implication and form of ili.it belongs neither to the sensible body nor to the medium of the photogram). duration into an orientated and meaningful time" [ibid.. drawn or attracted by the pull and character of it (Zug. a memory into a useful act.~_~. suspendable. regardless of the number s-.rerent indeed takes ~he ~orm of a haunting. passing through phenomenology. systems.. and typical of the whole of modern art .. but the reference to this referent. strtttturil analysis. It impli~ this "return of the dead" in the very ~ structure of both ItS image and the phenomenon of its imagZTtiis does not happen in other rypes of images or discourses.. 38]-the beyond of literature as literature. But his first move was to recognize in each of these their necessiry or richness. and so'O'n. by the reference to the_illecttqlr_e~nt. 38-39]. vanished into the unique past 'ti'iiieOfTt:s event. literary "modernity. I. the referent is noticeably absent.. semiosis. It IS the failure......~si.. li~g:real).. he marked and punctuated the studium of each. And it is the modern possibiliry of photography (whether art or /technique matters littIenere t at com5ines death and the referent in the ( ~tme system... wpat I am seeking in the } pllcrtugrapl1taken of me (the 'intention' according to which I look at it) is Death: Death is the eidos of that Photograph"([ibid. and whose referential impl'icatioIlis-~e_d:i. "It is as if the Photograph always carr~efcrent with itself. and ~."~-. it transforms life into destiny.\ bornness of the Referent in always being there" [Camera 6]." the "eidolon emitted by the object. or at any rate the limit. "I then experie ce a ffiicw-vwion of death (of I p:rrenrhesis): lam truly becoming a specter. <\9A e". Already a r:ucura: rn p sential relationship to reproductiV. \ wlitch is to say." literature producing itself and producing its essence as its own disappearance. in order to turn them against dogmatism. Ci..o~ " the other (from the referent) that fin~s i~sel~in ~.. m' pIece 0 me sInce the referential ImplIcation IS also intentional ~nd noematic..:: ~efo.. the . 284 Q.. "phases. whose spectral arnval In the very spac~ oFt'E.technique. or to technique in general. 5-6]. Ultimllely.iHe4~he-ha:vfttg-ae@H o£a !lniq~ (.isuch ontne very structur~ of the photogram." the "Spectrum" [ibid. cGsorder" introduced by the photograph is largely attributed to the "unique time" of its referent. This is a "return of tne 3eacl. ~:::nt. the "target. 9]. l. the return of the r~. 74-75]· t • Carried by this relationship... their critical value and light. can be me.-ng others): "Modernism begins with the search for a Literature that isno l~~ger_posible... iii'-the Novel too.-vv-' I. It was not for the first time...>I r . or of what was classified. modes.nce(sioce ~appeal to phenomenol/gy in this book). literature. I have become Total-Image. both affected by the same amorous or funereal immobiliry ..jet us say of marks in _g~eral. Th~e Photographer knows this very well. seen in a photograph of myself.Q¥~[ibid.5 U as Writing Degree Zero.. Bezug). The Novel is a Death.J~~ ~ S ~\vv-r~J-The Deaths of Roland Barthes \ The Deaths of Roland Barthes 7-r:.. By the time-at the instant-that the punctum rends space. reproductions and even the artifice of its composition. this machinery directed towards both destruction and resurrection. ana t is conjugation of death ah'a:t1iereferent did not have to wait for the Photograph to have an es- I rI . us we n ." the "referent. And this singular adherence . under that vast and vague category.r" otogram Indee resem@est:fla'tOf an emIssion or emanation.re me.rt of fialti:lci"natIng metonymy: it is something else. and the other arts. From tlleDegillii:illg of Camera Lucida._. in language. seemed to permit grandiose theories on the general suspension of the Referent.~ ~ C. andhJmself fears (If only for commercial reasons) thiS. implies just a_s..:~ . death in which his gesture will embalm me . • ---- rzi!!_ of ItS ~ .fr. of all that which.. ineffaceably original. k c Q /~ . Moreover." and "genres".. Death in person . " [ibid. at least not in the same way.p.ton efihere ( resent... e .but al~o In.. . short.s having-been-t~ere p~esently a part of / t e re erential or intentional structure of my relationship to the photo~ gram.. But should we say reference or referent? AnatyfiCaI preCIsion must he~ be equal to the s~ the photograph puts this precision to the test: in the photograph.. aE.. Whence "this stub. ( b a sometimes gross simplification.. literary mathesis. reference and death are in it together in the photograph.. a t@e that does not let itself be reproduced ~pI~zed.

It i~ertain way of relinq"'iilsrimg authoriry. Like __those for whom these zones become unavoidable (and this is rst of all ) t~i[ history).to em.""sotiCtarity. infinitesimal. an acknowledged relationship to their own . and yet it was also t~e same. especi~ly ~n Its re erence r. a~metimes si~ tde. his face. I mean. take from t~em a desire or ianlm~. all the trajectories . ess. even. it seems to me.he tiIQ~of our travels was surely not the same. after the death of the other. Yet (will not be able to carry it out. the forms of his attention and distraction. ·s. since this should surpnse no one. the individual "subjects" who inhabit the zones most difficult to avoid are not authoritarian "superegos" with power at their disposal. for almost twenty years now. at the moment of writing.dd!ess. 1/ at the bottom '-.asses throng wntin . and.-they are ~ot. I mean reread. invisible. Yet not always. This being-together is not distributed in any homogeneous way in Q~~erlence. even ifI tried to reproduce what took place. a pnon and in an cases. clothing. mobile.u:. seemingly on the verge of the zero point even though its exercise is so powerful and so diverse. he remains. completely ~~ c.. even though it is not constituted there. fi. and so on. it goes without saying. or wnat was of no ~bringing up.tually-unavoidable. Being-together reG's to and recogruzesitself tFlere. to a being-together that no difference or differend can threaten. so many teatures that I nameWimout describing. It is there. they inhabiuhem. • Roland Barthes is the name of a friend whom. look.conditional. the image of an evaluation. r-Paciently and interminabl . by an ominous and ri~us 12aradox. punctual. more or less explicicly: What does he or she think about this? Not that one is ready to agree that they are nght. paths of decision or inter12re ioJLthat. And my first response was most often certamly one of apptovat'. to sketch out the least conjecture or risk the least interpretation. I would like to describe. not mat' 6i"i.L~'hat place for the long periOdS Of silence. so on? Especially. at least not right here. I knew very little.Ji:mp w~ichitnever returns. smile. in fact. ( Even If I wanted or was able to give an account. what ~~e would be reserved for the reservt.it.before l~o~ng fO:~i~t. \ ~ o G • wto believe in the contemporary? It would be easy to show that the mes of those who seem to belong to the same e och. defined in terms something like a historici rame or social horizon remain infinitely terogeneous and. 'I . why not say it. on the trip rom Paris to New Yor to Baltimore i~2:!.286 The Deaths of Roland Barthes c~~ The Deaths of Roland Barthes finitude. in a more or less articulated way: What does and ( he think of this? In the present.a. either because it was too weititrrawnby both of us. IV . understood. that the law is Rroduced. s:Brated by an aisle (for example.. Contrary to what is often thought. and it is necessary t~ ac~t these two absolute certainties. for what was left unsaid out of discretion. confers on them a~ additional authorIty. a duty toward him. Icroscopic.~. that makes one always ask. Always the promise of return.. a~fluenc~diance. I have not read everything. hands. at bottom. the past.ar.fn:e-c:rrrIYevery sitrve to trns. rassuming that Power can be at one's disposal. or else infinitely unknown on either side? goon speaking of this all alone. one of those of whom I have constantly wondered. feels to me like an endless insult or wound-s-and yet also a duty. to speak of him was for me (the voice.olite way of being there or elsewhere... points 0 great c d~ti~s of ( high valuation. tough sensiuve at t ~on another level. I must say this so as not to give in too much to the genre. to tell the truth. rather than ruling there. and of whom. specular even (since the demand is often reciprocal and the trajectory easily lost).:sne----' L I Th or bdleves maluciditywithout weakn. and as insignificant as it may be. in short. the future. TIiere are kllots. It IS clIffiu! kiiow then who addresses this "Image" to whom.a certain freedom."e"aWaits verdict a !r J f paris to Lille or Paris t~ ~ordeaux). ~ut. He was. or affect Imposes It'S'df.e-v.o~ A ~ • . hi. of a certain familiarity.and. his cigar. It is this.when It then becomes so virtual. I even told him this once in a letter long ago. plural. since this is impossible here). the timbre. the. it seems. and gratitude. or presencethatJeads thel~ ~e>-places whe. which.

what is most surprising. And yet only a metonymic force can contInue to :rssure a cerraIh generality to the discourse and offer it to analysis by submitting its concepts to a quasi-instrumental use. even if it must content i:self. on the contrary? The alterity remains almost intact. As soon as allows itself to be drawn into a network of substItutIons. This singularity that is nowhere in the field mobilizes everything everywhere. the punctum irdiates and.name of that which "points" me. or a mother. to speak of the unique. 45]. which he neither sh. its power. more or less potentially. This metonymic power is essentially related to the supplementary structure of the punctum ("it is a supplement") and of the studium that receives from it all its movement. I would call contrapuntal. that is the condition. outside~ coaes. ~QQQk. it pluralizes itself. which he speaks. 53]. but the metonymic power (one part for the whole or one name for another) will always come to inscribe both in this relation withOut relation. or "points" (to) what I am awkwardly trying to say here. we recall. a power of expansion. and this is its force. and this is not a concession. it allows us to speak. This ~olute ~ c~ses with the same."be so aeeply mOVed by what he said about his mother.tj-on nor concession. The h?rerogenelty of the punctum IS ngoroliS. Further on: "I had just realized that how- {( • The metonymy of the punctum: scandalous as it may be.-. Strictly speaking. of a structural analysis that the studium itself might exploit). In other p1aces. it does notbelong. to which. {_ . in th~resent effecnviry of"its reality'. but its unlocatable brightness or clarity (that of his mother's eyes) irradiates the entire study.""ns originality can 6ear neither ~~ilITi.. and even its dissimulation.SthePlace of irreplaceable singularity and of the unique referential. with its absolute other is thus n~ppo~. what we might call the unicity of the referential (t appealLO this word so as not to have to choose between reference and referent: what adheres in the photograph is perhaps less the referent itself.. this death immediately repeats itself. to be more precise.. The Winter Garden Photograpli. the death of the unique. If the punctum is more or less than itself. lends itself to metonymy. virtuality.288 The Deaths of Roland Barthes The Deaths of Roland Barthes ever immediate and incisive it was. If the photograph bespeaks the unique death. who was not only the Mother. undoubtedly. It is indeed necessary for him to recognize. A. like the ." with t~ ~) round the point and never gettIng down to n. And yei:. How else could we. It yields the trait that relates to the unique.. the punctum could accommodate a certain latency (but never any examination)" [ibid. it is supplementary and musical (contrapuntal). tha m is not wh t ( it is. 'j hat \ CE • The deaths of Roland Barthes: because of the somewhat indecent violence . its latency. This power is often metonymic" [Camera Lucida. or rather than its force (since it exercises no actual ( constraint and exists completely in reserve). withtnelocus of the same and of the studium (it is the limit of the binary opposition and. at other times. He accedes to (: the requisite rhythm of the composition. Barthes accedes to another deScriptive demand. dissymmetrical-to everything and in itself-then it can invade the field of the stiidium. it induces it. The mark of this unique wound is nowhere visible as such. Barthes marks this relationship between force (potential or in reserve) and metonymy at certain intervals of the composition that I must here unjustly condense. its dynamis. potentiality. the relatlO~n ship ~tween the two concepttisneither fautological nor op ositional. It can invade / very thing. without knowing heT. not to be mistaken for something that facilitates the movement of identification. let's call it phenomenological. objects as well as affects. neither dialectical nor in any sense symmetrical. in other words. I return to this also in order to show how he himself treated and properly signed this simulacrum of an opposition. and is itself elsewheK Taid""""fh:rr1Ile punctum allows itself to be drawn into metonymy. Were I to do so."examination. than the ImplicatIOn In t e reference of its having:been-unique). It makes of this book an irreplaceable event. Actually. He is right to protest against the confusion between she who was his mother and the Figure of the Mother. It is located. but the only one she was and of whom such a photo was taken "on that day"? How could this be poignant to us if there were not at work a metonymic force. I do not tend to replace his mother with mine. the absolute unicity that the metonymic power comes to recall in me without effacing it. to speak of and to it. "However lightning-like it may be.5 Henceforth. __. pfesems1tsclf-as a phenomenology. the punctum has."s nor hides.aLw . as such. a musical composition that. I do not put myself in his place. He first highlighted the absolute irreducibility of the punctum. I could be moved only by the alterity of the without-relation. is the punctum of the entire book.

.viclence of a quotatiQ11.. .? What links Blanchot to Bataille was unique. the replacement of this unique referent by another that J is yet another instant. The . >l { ~ v " {. belong to no one. And just before: "The horror is this: not ing to say about the death of one whom I love most... ~serve with horror an anterior future of which death \ is the stake.traits his c~aracter.aJ[ memory already belongs. ~ t • 0'riendship: we have no right to take anything for ourselves from the few l~ages at the end ~ volume that bears this title... or tried to efface his death.utthe undecidable vacillation between ~eakin. which is no longer of form but of intensity.. cl \.. There is here.lrom that of Lewis Payne to that of Rol'ii1d Barthes. like Winnicott's psychotic patient.._of o~.Js: he isgoing to die... (Camera Lucida.\~ :d~: ~~. Everything we say tends to veil the one affirmation: that everything must fade and that we can remain loyal onl so long as we watch over this fadirig movement.:~. never shows or hides. ~ pick out first a7inguIar accorrl. ---_~ could one agree to speak of this friend? Neither in praise nor in the in( i. . pricks me. Perhaps. te-a new me'-u tonymy of metonymy itself.o£ this first death.£:~:::i~:::i:'::::::i=:::::~~::::~ :..- ) '>' I f ~ 11 r <. What points me.~e~t of som~ tr~th. \. the forms of his existence. I would have in the process accused and given over his death to the trial of a studied metonymy.' ... but how do we speak otherwise and without taking this risk? Without pluralizing the unique or generalizing what is most irreplaceable in it. I tell I myself: she is going to die: I shudder. completely other and yet still the same? Is not time the punctual form and force of all metonymy-its last recourse? Here is a ~ assage where the eassage from ~ gear t.." . ~~. By giving me to the absolute past of the pose (aorist). we can think what is being written here. force.. In front of the photograph of my mother as a child. and distance ceases as soon as presence ceases. have no oilier resources than this iron : to s eak of the 'nothing to sa '" [Camera uci . and that only of Bataille could he be speaking. without understanding.t has already occurred... 92-93].. as is the boy" [Camera Lucida.I ~/c. that-has been necessarily truncated. 141. / • 0: - ( Seward. my ~n ~eath is inscrib~etween the two.. 96) :~. a new metonymy of the substitutive virtue of \.The Deaths of Roland Barthes of this plural. tr . v ~1 . nothing more than waiting.V" I l . and kee in silent"?G And one can also remain stlent by speaking: "The only 'thought' I can ave is that at the en9.. or in any case without knowing. the irreplaceable. from which I . to which something in us that reject..J Jz a . r ) • l I \.£.Q '1w. every photograph is this catastrophe. e.. Whether or not the subject is ready Q.. and FrzendShzp expresses t~is in an absolutely f ~ingular way. 96]. a terrifying syntax. . 0' . ~·t • I "~. denied. n'OtFiIng to say about her photograph" [ibid.:: the punctum.d:dm~?t:J.In allows us to read these pages. the photograph tells me death in the future.. The photograph is handsome. which does not mean to expose t em outsi e t e' e s us think that which it nonetheless ___ never forces open. without forgetting that only Blanchot could write this. where he was wait~ ) ing to be hanged. And here is '\...v~\ .:::." This new punctum. metonymically.. rs. . Without being able toenter into the absolute SIngu}a.Iilate resource for ) the substitution Of O"ile'"a6'soluteinstant by another. And on the ~ theme of Time. the / episodes of his life.-especiall}:.j2Jmctum. a tl1e'"pdlnt of trarisitionbetween Sand P: ~ "The photo is handsome. leads to a neW cO'lItrapcrnrah:quation. Though we should not be able to quote. one might perhaps think that I was resisting the unique. we cannor bear the pain: the affir~ation of this void .93]. the value of intensity (dynamis. And this is 1i'rrre:-F0t""ts-rru rrrre tfie u ti.. And yet the metonymic force of the most oignant writ\. over a \ catastrophe tha.. about his deaths? Didn't he say what is essential (especially in Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes. for the replacement of ::. We are only looking to fill a oid. is the discovery of this equivalence. not the ---- I In amera Lucida. latency).1 . ~\ ).... his own death? And didn't he himself speak right up until the very last moment about his death and.other. I read at the same time: this will (.. seems to pass (among and between oth'\.. even In keeping with the search for which he felt himself responsible to the point of irresponsibility. \. which I have been following.. I n~thele. t . as is the boy: that is the st..ity of this relatIOnship. There are no !yitness~ Those who were closest say only what was close to them. the passage from one death to the other: I now know that there exists another punctum (another "stigmatum") than the "detail.. a metonymic title and signature par excellence) ab. Alexander Gardner photographed him in his cell. As a sign of protection or protest.v . dare one say) through the Winter Garden Photograph. I would have thus avoided._./c?cr The Deaths of Roland Bartbes distance that affirmed itself in this proximity...ss rak upcrr-rrryself the. in short.

would itself be but the most striking metonymy in the modern I I teCIl. he Dist course on Method or Hegel's Logic. [Time: the metonymy of the instantaneous. The instanuneous in pho~r~ the snapshot...t that interests us and animates our most sound an studied r~adings: _what took p ace only once. as if the "everything is said" w~ finalfy allow us to stop a dead voice . egins robe deployed in Friendship: ror I ..." I know there are the books . I am looking in these photographs for "details". I also know ~ his books. but it no doubt also indicates another interruption. in what he shows and says of it. this interruption . it plunges the destination into ~ mourning while at the same tim7engaging it-:--- • Having returned from the somewhat insular experience wherein I had secluded myself with the two books. GeorgesBataille seems to speak-ornlmself with a freedom without restraint that should free us from all discretion-but that does not give us the right to put ourselves in his place.) come from? Ihe date-and this is always somet .tbtJl~d". quite the contrary. the possibility of the narrative magnetized by its own limit. or has me in view. it is the relation to s i ue and irreplace( ~re.. I look today only at the photographs in other books (especially in Roland Barthes by Roland Barthesi and in newspapers. I try to imagine the gestures around what we believe to • between the two titles.!. in what he hides of it..in our ~rang~ent. that of the book and that of the final farewell in italics. outside .tingency or Inslgnihcance of the interruption. [os any of its force. perhaps-like something he could not see in his writing.... The photographic apparatus reminds us of this Irreducible referen. ev~n.. in the Sights or In front of the lens of the Phaedo or Finnegans 'i-Vtzke. "on that ay time an space are here given toget er.the excited worlaot t e Iving. without seeing me.h~Q. for something that regards me.al. nor does it give us the power to speak in his absence~d is it certain that h.) other register. It""is at work In the mo~ of friendships. John's Apocalypse or Mallarrne's Coup / de des.~p. 97]· ~.thoughjt is never of tekh~. however attached it seems t. I do not know what I am still looking for.. while dividing itself already.~n ~ accident and like death. 289-9i"f - \ 1 • Where does the desire to date these last line~ (s..... one must be able to speak of a punctum in all signs (and re~etition or iterability already structu. and in the worst of histories. suspt:~fer_:nt and leaves it to be de~d.up~ofhims~lf? We must give up trying to know those to whom we are linked . by something essential. as another thought of the same one .. The metonymic force thus divides the referential trait. (Friendship. as I believe he says at the end of Camera Lucida. without any indulgence. the conditions of a publication). I believe... by this I mean we must greet them in the relation with the unknown in which they greet us as ::::ell.The Deaths of Roland Barthes t And further on: "It is because each photograph The Deaths of Roland Barthes 293 always contains this imperious sign of my future death that each one. it seems to be imposed from the outside. This existence... _ _ • .." one wants to say "everything.. As long as die one who ISclose to us-exIStSana. one by one. Older. cliallengeseach of us. but ~he unpredictabiliry introduced into this thought by the strangeness of the end . the thought in which he affirms himself.f (~ Q t..!Lg~ner:.. with him. between the titles and the exergue ("quotations" of Ba{ !aille that speak twice of "friendship").. whether literary or not: As long as we do not Jicild to some naive .. relg~e"p-ossibillty history. literary history . the exchange IS still metonymic' though die singularity Ques'"fle.nnounces itself in an. I cannot tear myself away from the £h<U2~hs and th~ handwriting.ngd)f signarure-e-ac- cP A-/~ \ ( ~f'Yv(r • centuates tfie cc.-be t. Though neither'v more essential nor more interior.. Remaining as attentive as possible to all the differences. I am looking. but preserved in this very relation. One wants to publish "everythin . without any illusion..~ tial by ITieans of a very powerful telescofili!& --f. his thought opens itself to us.nological age o~ ~~ older insta~~aneity.res it). while still maintaining the reference. The books themselves refer to an existence. because it is no longer a presence. any generality (bill not outside of any transcendence)" [ibid. ancr'realiS?' ~entialism..." as if one were anxious about only ons thing: tha~hing)~d. but I'm looking it in the direction of his body. and what preserves it is not only the mobility oflife (this would be very little). in ariy dis: :: course.

one might analytiCa1IfCleduce the inability to utter.on the black background of the inside I be the essential (:!_!<oland lJarthes by Roland Barthes? II • Today somebody broug_ht me a note (less than a letter..erything is very close to me.. even if only to declare it legitimately impossible as a performative utterance. if you like. according to the letter._addresses himself to me.. had told me in a car one day.) J a • I: the pronoun [pronom] or the first name [prenom]. these very words. for example.r the punctum.y. in act concerns something I would be tempted to call the whole of my life. of a scandal of language . This note (which I thus received toClay on die eve of the same journey. I read the blue writing (and more and more I am sensitive to the color of writing. to speak. What was he thinking of at the moment he referred to "the letter"? Probably. insignificant viaticum. but one that neither Austin nor Benveniste had foreseen in their analyses.. to say "I" in th$ r. I -- - Would the impossible utterance "I am dead" really never have taken '\ place? He is right when he says that. ther~rb~ t~iu:!oi~t: that af. the form of the writing.dplaYfUl. or I think I kno~ why this gesture was interrupted. h. truly ghostlx:. punctuating in the inst1nt a :Jerence to the self as to a uni ~e . On the eve of a journey. of a performative utterance. 0 return r m thrs-pom [ to metonymy. according to the letter..?graphs of children and old people? How and when did he choose lines for the back cover where Marpa speaks of his son's deathi"? ~bout those white line.§. I mean to the same places) was found by chan e long after the death of the one who destined it for me.." And it was true. for~~. literally.. I am now more aware that I am sensitive to it) of someone who. the "impossible utterance . did he choose all these (." 1973). in me. I • jJq 'i)-... it does not speak untruths. Were I to write revenant fa fettre rei w~rer to try to-rranslate ~ another language . would have again given in to metonymy. I picked out this: Another scandal of enunciation is the reversal of the metaphor in the letter.' vr'4 .. according to the letter. thIS autoaffec~ive r~ e ence t at e nes t e very heart of the hVIng.J~h -{.terally or according to the letter." it ~ is "foreclosed." ter having been able to speak of death as plural.-. E.Actu y. almost to the day. without Which there would undoubtedly be no punctum as such . Were he to have done so. and I recall these words often: "It will happen to me soon.. And literally.. It was detained (and the little book ended up being placed inside another) as if to preserve t e memory of die Interruption itself. speaking about death.294 The Deaths of Roland Barthes phothese And cover The Deaths of Roland Barthes 295 writing.~_ indeed. the ot e eturning. it is even a source." Yet one understands it. after having said so often "I am dead" metaphoriCally or metonymically. foreclosed . I.. This inteiTIiption.referent. of the s·ignature. a little book that even today I find unreadable. another strange coincidence: a friend sent me from the United States a_l2hot~Er2f a text by Barthes that I had never before ("Analyse textuelle d'un conte d'Edgar Poe. to begin with. to be sure. "literally. I know. the u~ illimitable source of suffering. It is a question. h~ was never able to say "I am dead" li.. the other trury ~urning. precisely for this metaphor. Which makes all utterances possible but does no~uce suffer-i-Hg. But while "leafing" through it. Another interruption makes all this as distant and unreadable as that little. that in the idea of death.13 I will read it later. How... there is perhaps no punctum. But i~lilJ--:: t12n.. to the metonymic for. the assumed name [prete-nom] of the one to whom the utterance "I am dead" can never hap- - - . For at the heart of I iz: -- • That was yesterday..12The paper retains the folds of these twenty-four years.-at on~~erious a-.. But metonymy is no mistake or falsehood. the note was to accompany-the gift of-a: ery singular book.. is indeed common to utter the sentence "I am dead!" . Today. (AlI""theSe q~ns are also questions of translation and transference. or at any rate. is impossible: the utterance "I am dead" is.thd. [Butl the transpositidn of die ~hor into the letjer. all other predicates remaining questionable.resent: a punq~ I. It the sadness felt for the friend who dies.in.. one hears its so-called literal meaning. [Tlhe extraordinary sentence "I am dead" is by no means the incredible statem"ent. . but much more radically. a single sentence) that had been destined tor me 5ut never given to me twentY-four years ago.

is nothing but a factitious anamnesis: the one I lend to the author I love"). mode. I suppose-it's a matter of tone. in Camera Lucid~.. ~ " . But didn't I do this itliout reaJizi:ng-iTin-the-preteding ragments? For example. fidelity"." "From the Fragment to the Journal. n(C ma51C." :'the ~Q!ce is <!J." "Later .. almost by chance. assuming this is possible.ways already' dead"). the I when it refers to nothing else but the one who is presently speaking? There would be something like a sentence of the I. so that death then stands between the metonymiceIc:." cc • ecstasis. or come closer to .hould. Between the photos and the graphics." there is the synsax.. I It is inevitable [fota~. Were I myself to yield to this 'movement. " ~ "." "Difference.f1 .." "Pause: Anamneses" ("The biographeme . m (thejplaa=cr . all these texts I §. "Limpness of Important Words" ("History" and "Nature. I know that he also said he liked it and that he was able to make a gift of this word. the enduring syntax of a sentence) irradiates the corpus from its place of imminence and allows one to breathe.. which." itWhat Is a Utopia For?" "F~rgeri~('I Write Classic'). I use his words to speak of this: "emanation. The I imminence of death presents itself.9t!!. "Relation to Psychoanalysis. I don't like"-that in this case he did not like a certain pathos with which fidelity is so easily charged. where metonymy is already at work on the I in its relation to itself.." "The Circle of Fragments. stale. in Camera Lucida. unfaithful).~ metonymic force of e punctum. I try to understand how he could have written "I don't like .~ ~ 'I • Wouldn't the utterance "I am dead. listless. drab.aking place). and a certain way of saying quickly but incisively "I like. mat me most «autobiOgt:i] cal" books (those of the end. as I have heard said) begin at death to conceal all the other books.._!. and. even when the enunciation of it would be possible? The Deaths of Roland Barthes 297 this "air" that becomes more and more dense.. in which no word can be changed). ')«( '6 .~ be said (one point an'Cl'11ntt's-ir. it is always at the point-in presenting itself-of presenting itself no longer." for example).The Deaths of Roland Barthes pen. more and more haunted and peopled with ghosts. both just and unjust. "Choosing Clothes.he lJ~d is on the ~nt o0. . that is.J o c~ tr':J "-- • "What must I do?" Barthes seems in Camera Lucida [67J to approve of the one who places-of she who placed-"civil value" above "moral value. "Passing Bodies. and the time of this elliptical sentence would leave room for metonymic subsmmi(}&~Uu:_ rriirselves ti~~w.. This punctual. just a moment ago. What is more." which he says is impossible." "Foreseeable Discourse" (example: Text of the Dead: a litaneutical text.. started with.." In Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes [145].gulanty. under the titles "His Voice" ("inflection is the voice in so far as it is always past. and especially the word. . the literal utterance. he says that morality must be understood as "the precise opposite of ethics (it is the thinking of the body in a state oflanguage). the nonmetonymic utterance? And this. woul' no longer eavethis Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes.Ilinence (tb~ wh~in~_J." "I Like II Don't Like" (one line before the end.q~dte "I ari'iClead" an t ~ -ushers in absolute-si1ence.ime as a pun~. inflection. • ~-- Contrapuntal theory or a procession of stigmata: a wound no doubt comes in (the) place of the point sigried by si.." • !I I Between the possibility and the impossibility of the "I am dead.me and something like a category 2f. on the whole.have ta eel about. if one can still say this. they begin with death. forbidding. silenced." "Conflict. punctuating singularity (and I understand "punctuating" here as an adjective but also as a type of verb. '- ~- _rna d ness.. which so quickly becomes tired." "The Fragment as Illusion.perioLi [u1fpiJintc'est tout]). the discourse on fidelity. "Plural.ould have to return here to that which implicitly nks. I never knew how to read. fall into the province of what he calls elsewhere-and calls on as-utopic? And doesn't this utopia impose itself in the place. .iwJ. alrOWi'ii'gnot lngmor.

the very substance of his argument: equally impertinent.!!f~em.he--s~d. That was in 1846. several months after the birth of Caroline. That same year.. at its very source. my Loulou.t. nicknamed Loulou. its tip.' Caroline. He capitalizes the great words of philosophy. But in (the) place.. 81. even if it breaks off always too soon. As you know. Perhaps they are only abstractions of our intellect. which repeats . we don't know the one . promises itself each time to begin again: it remains to -Translated by Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas My Loulou.. you will discover it.The Deaths of Roland Barthes {U r ·ts very instant (stigmf).. he also underlines what he feels is most important. But anamnesis. N. and then how he became one for me. and in Confrontation 12 (1984). § 12 An Idea of Flaubert: "Plato's Letter" • I still cannot remember when I read or heard his name for the first time.t:. there was the encounter with Louise Colet and the latter's breakup with Victor Cousin. here it is in a word: I don't know what is meant by the two substantives "Matter" and "Spirit". Caroline. I have nothing to tell you except that I miss you and want to see you very much. whom Flaubert quickly dubs the Philosopher. In the Lecture delivered in Paris in 1980 at a colloquium organized for the centenary of Flaubert's death. retaining of the irreplaceab~t desire .£o. she was born a month before the death of her mother and namesake. "Matter" and "Spirit. I consider Materialism and Spiritualism equally impertinent [deux impertinences egalesl. to substitution. It is March 1868. As for my opinion on these matters. In short. I am pleased to see myoid pupil devote herself to serious reading. it's marvelous. is the daughter of Flaubert's sister and bears her name. Since you love the ideal. vol. in these books..tselFtFiere. Published in the Revue d'histoire litteraire de fa France.. 299 . and thus after the death of her mother." Like a good pedagogue.•ny better than the other. and Flaubert is writing to his niece. Ask Monseigneur to lend you Plato's Symposium and Phaedo (in Cousin's translation). p~ is ~ov:eI. twentytwo. at its point. with a capital P. As art.B .

In his circular letter of February 15.d theJast section of the book (289-92). and trans. Sigmund Freud: Life and Work. Annette Lavers and Colin Smith (New York: Hill & Wang. 1983). "Dorothy Burlingham also came to Freud and psychoanalysis as Anna's close friend. Maurice Blanchot.. And in 1932 Freud noted that Anna and 'her American friend (who owns the car) have bought and furnished . "Dreams and Telepathy. ear t~is ti. 1975)... James Strachey. 2003). Sigmund Freud: Life and Work. 1986).] 2. himself without life. Elizabeth Rottenberg (Stanford: Stanford University Press.. so that we share with them our needs for the summer' [to Binswanger]. to guess. and a noun meaning a (feminine) soothsayer. First published in Poetique in September 1980. trans. is growing continually stronger. Walter Benjamin. trans. trans. /) indicate those words that appear in English in the original. Le livre Ii venir (Paris: Gallimard. (London: Hogarth Press. she moved to Vienna from America with her four children. Harmondsworth. 1953-57). and Dorothy was recipient of one of Freud's rings. Derrida is referring in particular to the following texts in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. which is entir~ly in italics. Dorothy Burlingham could afford to pay for the treatment of her whole family. while correcting proofs.Trans. and in his old age Freud would play 'with them as he used to play with his ring' [Sachs]. UK: Penguin Books. 13. "friends until that state of profound friendship where a man abandoned. and for the context of Marie Bonaparte's role here. trans. 3." was none other than the "Wolf Man": see Maria Torok's "Afterword" to The WolfMan's Magic Word: A Cryptonymy. whose children my daughter is bringing up analytically with a firm hand. Mass. vol. 1980).Trans..Trans. Blanchot beg1l1s ht?rrttrhtp-{iY:'}virth 0 prgraph: Batallle: My complicitous friendship: this is what my temperament brings to other men". 8. 12.. 448. Anna became a second mother to her children. See Jones. 2. 4. 142. in Selected Writings. See Jones. 1977).) 9· Jones.~le. Bricks or stones left projecting from a wall to form a bond for additional work to be built on" (OED). RoIan<I13arthes. Jones quotes from an article in a recent issue of the journal Psyche as follows: "A few years ago the analysis of dreams Notes must have seemed to many adherents of the Viennese school to be developing into a not altogether inexact science.. "Tourner autour du point" is a play on "tourner autour du pot. as elsewhere. Leaving her disturbed husband. 4. She was first in analysis with Theodor Reik and then Freud . In 1929 he wrote 'our symbiosis with an American family (husbandless).-Trans. was the main source not only of Freud's dogs but also of the chows that went to others in Freud's circle. James Strachey et al." which includes a section on "The Occult Significance of Dreams." 9. Roland Barthes by Roland Bartbes.Trans. (London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis): "Psycho-Analysis and Telepathy.. 3 vols. Devine is both an imperative of the verb deviner. [All notes added by translators. ed.-Trans. 1980).Trans. capable of free friendship. 5. both the book an.. J . trans. Michael W Jennings (Cambridge.-Trans. if not centuries. assisted by Angela Richards (rpt. Mass. 6o-87. 94).-Trans. Derrida is referring here to his own text. James Srrachey. Roland Barthes. II. it was written about a year before that. 6. 7. It has in fact since been argued that "M. "Toothing-stone." trans. 25· • 5.oundheousl'l. For the story that follows. 85. But to-day the wild men are once more not far from the fold-for if Telepathy be accepted the possibility of a definite oneiric aetiology recedes some decades. 7. (Note added January 22.. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography.. ed.-Trans." _ t 6... see Ernest Jones. Freud and His Followers (New York: Random House. 289.Trans. Dorothy . Sigmund Freud: Life and Work." Paul Roazen." in Freud's New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. into the future" (jones.. Nicholas Rand (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press." or simply "roothing" is an architectural term: "in Building.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.." 18 (1955):173-93.. 1983). encounters in life the one who will accompany him beyond life. detached from all ties. Derrida is quoting the French translation of Jones. 3: 422). I: 316-17.. Harry Zohn and Edmund Jephcott.. 4· Maurice Blanchot. 3: 406. vol. Friendship. 9-10. and "Some Additional Notes on Dream Interpretation as a Whole. 1985). 1959). Slashes (I . Pelican Freud Library. See ibid." 18: 195-220.Notes 2. Anna Freud loved dogs. see also Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's introduction to The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess. by Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.. The French title is La chambre claire (Paris: Seuil. 1926. approximately six months after Barthes's death in March 1980..P. abandoned by all of his friends. Richard Howard (New York: Hill & Wang.3-11. and to "Dreams and Occultism. Roland Barthes. Sigmund Freud: Life and Work. her children were among Anna Freud's first patients. to him it meant she was now in safe hands. 1. Writing Degree Zero. 8. Here. 10. a weekend cottage' [to Zweig]. 1981. Freud was happy when Anna found Dorothy as a friend. I887-I904 (Cambridge. 2: 19.... The Deaths of Roland Barthes II. ed. 3: 422. 3: 423-24." 19 (1961): 135-38. 3." "to beat <U:. 1997). As Derrida later ex lains. "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility. trans. A member of the Tiffany Family. Sigmund Freud: Life and Work. Richard Howard (New York: Hill & Wang.

. e thus restOre Ilefethis"gestu~ a~." Materialism and Spiritualism are ( "impertinent" in both senses of that word: t " . Also.." 10. interspersed with some Plutarch and Spi." Later in this text. Bouvard and Pecucbet.you must read Spinoza. Ten years ago I lost the friend I had loved more than any other. Gustave Flauberr.-P. 1852: "It's necessary that throughout the entire book. try to obtain the biography written by Boulainvilliers. as a bush. See what he says of Sade to the Goncourt brothers (quoted in J. The cretin has incorporated himself into the monument and perpetuates himself along with it" {letter cited by].en-tial writing": '''Marpa was very shaken when his own son died.Trans. Thompson of Sunderland wrote his name on Pompey's Pillar in letters six feet high." -~3. opinions.. The phrase translated here is "le res:u Haubertien. the range of facts admissible as evidence (receivable in the legal sense) within the institutions of literary history and criticism. Like so many other things that do not survive translation. nothing attacks it without shattering against it. I have spent my evenings reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in Barni's translation and going over my Spinoza" (February 1872). "Recently.oza"(February 1870). Fatally ill. 3. and the translation has occasionally been modified. It is in the Leipzig edition in Latin. and again to George Sand. 2." "meddlesome.." "insolent." 12. what a man! what an intellect! what learning and what a mind!" Doesn't this eager autodidact sound exactly like Bouvard and Pecuchet? The same year. Flaubert to Marie-Sophie Leroyer de Chantepie." "ghost to the letter.n. a dove. 8. II. denied by some. ''And afterward? / -What to write now? Can you still write anything~ One writes with one's desires. but the death of my a ~upe. there is not a single word of my own invention." Irrelevant. further page references are given III parentheses in the text." 5· Flaubert discovered the Tractatus in 1870. hard and resistant." 4. My God. and that after having read it.. Those who accuse . 1954). and one of his disciples said to him. "If only I don't botch Saint Anthony as well? I shall return to it in a week. An Idea of Flaubert: "Plato's Letter" ~That is. "Analyse tex~lle d'un conte d'Edgar Poe. represented the hyperbole of Catholicism. 1857: "Speaking of Spinoza (that great man!). Yes. What a genius! What a work the Ethics is!" (end of March 1872). work. for him.. (Goethe said. "deux impertinences egales. W. These two great men have gone a long way toward stupefying me. Earp and G. Richard. 'Certainly. 6. Roland Barthes. He wrote to George Sand in ~pril-May. Litteratu:e et sensation: StendhaL. it is its own criterion. n the English edition. Flaubert [Paris: Seuil.Beuve of December 1862). 1954]. From another point of View. The exchange takes place in the context of a passage on the imagination of th~ prophets and on the idolatry of visions and of figurative language: "'He is gOlllg to deny the prophets now!' 'Not at all! But in the heat of excitement they saw Jehovah i~ different fo~ms as a fire. . Richard. W S~olll~r (New York: New Directions. You must read that. and they were ~ot certain of Revelation for they were always asking for a sign.''' 9· "As for obviousness. Mme Coignet's article in the Revue de Paris was really quite inadequate. It has the character of granite. no one would dare any longer to open his mouth for fear of saying spontaneously one of the phrases found therein. In Alexandria. Monsieur Cousin has demonstrated this. an old man. Revenant as agerund means 'retilrrung" or "coming back. three times great Spinoza. and.-P.r-~'" (A Practice of the Tibetan Wzy). 'You have always said that everything is an illusion. a written acknowledgment of goods received-"the Flaubertian receipt." "literally returning. 329-59.r~atwe be ieve to bethees. How'ard translates these two inscriptions: "It must all be considered as if spoken by a character in a novel". Derrida uses the phrase revenant a lettre. Flaubert wrote: "I have resolved to begin work on my Saint Anthony tomorrow or the day after. when I take leave of them..Trans." and as a noun. ?' 'In Spinoza." or even "liter y a ghost. perhaps. poetics. November 4. 240." Two sections further. when I have finished with Kant and Hegel. these handwritten lines of Barthes's appear ill black on a white background and have been incorporated into the opening and closing p~f the text rather than printed on the front and back inside covers.Notes Notes him of atheism are asses. Derrida explicitly defines "impertinence" as "na'ive incompeten~" a usage that is far r better sustained by the original French impertinence than by its English hom) I onym. Is not the death of your son an ill!:!_sions well?' And Marpa responded. affirmed by others. The book astounds me.' 'Ah! and you discovered these fine things . and I am not through_desi~ng. 'When I am troubled I reread the Ethics. it is with voracity that I pounce on myoid. Alfred Le Poittevin. though he always kept a distance from this author who.. Litterature / I L G 10. ~st" or "phantom. I am dazzled. he spent his last nights reading Spinoza." which can denote the body of received ideas (idees recues) about Flaubert. a Mr. but not the Tractatus TheoLogico-poLitzeus. These past few days I have read a lot of tedious theology.. T. trans. 1985). 7· We know that Flaubert was an avid reader of Sade. I2. "Stupidity is immovable." in Laventure semiologique (Paris: Seuil.') Perhaps like Goethe you will find calm in the reading of this great book. an accepted version of his life. which can be translated as "returning to the letter. I believe Emile Saisset has translated the Ethics.he defended himself against what Sainte-Beuve had called his "touch of sadistic imagination" (see his letter to Sainte. 195). 1870: "I knew Spinozas Ethics. December 17. Flaubert to Louise Coler. and transported with admiration."-Trans. There is no w~y t? see the pillar without seeing Thompson's name. and without consequently thinking of Thompson. by extension. \_ but also "presumptuous. the pass~ on the back of La chambre claire has been omitte III Camera LueiCia.

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