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Roland Barthes Quotes


A French literary critic, literary and social theorist, and philosopher.
(1915 - 1980)

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A photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see.
 

Flaubert had infinite correction to perform.
[Writers And Writing]
 

For the theater one needs long arms; it is better to have them too long than too short. An artiste with short arms can never, never make a fine gesture.
 

I call the discourse of power any discourse that engenders blame, hence guilt, in its recipient.
 

I have tried to be as eclectic as I possibly can with my professional life, and so far it's been pretty fun.
 

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.
 

Language is legislation, speech is its code. We do not see the power which is in speech because we forget that all speech is a classification, and that all classifications are oppressive.
 

Literature is the question minus the answer.
 

Literature is without proofs. By which it must be understood that it cannot prove, not only what it says, but even that it is worth the trouble of saying it.
 

Myth is neither a lie nor a confession: it is an inflexion.
 

The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition... always new books, new programs, new films, news items, but always the same meaning.
 

The New is not a fashion, it is a value.
 

The petit-bourgeois is a man unable to imagine the Other. If he comes face to face with him, he blinds himself, ignores and denies him, or else transforms him into himself.
 

The photographic image... is a message without a code.
 

The politician being interviewed clearly takes a great deal of trouble to imagine an ending to his sentence: and if he stopped short? His entire policy would be jeopardized!
 

The skyscraper establishes the block, the block creates the street, the street offers itself to man.
 

There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society: to retreat ahead of it.
 

Through the mythology of Einstein, the world blissfully regained the image of knowledge reduced to a formula.
 

To eat steak rare... represents both a nature and a morality.
 

To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive and impoverished.
 


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