Roland Barthes — The Vale of Soul-Making

To know that one does not write for the other, to know that these things I am going to write will never cause me to be loved by the one I love (the other), to know that writing compensates for nothing, sublimates nothing, that it is precisely there where you are not–this is the beginning of writing.

— Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. (Hill and Wang; Second Printing edition June 1, 1979) Originally published 1977.

Roland Barthes — The Vale of Soul-Making

Passivity ( a text of Maurice Blanchot translated by Vadim Bystritski) — Before and After Francis Ponge

Passivity is not just acceptance, not like amorphous, inert matter ready to fit into a form, but passive as under pressure of death — death whose silent intensity does not resemble a welcome reception, leaving its imprint without a word, a body being delegated to the past, a body seen as an interval, a being in suspension, whose syncope is produced by snipping of time and which we can only see as some unarticulated savage history that presently makes no sense. Passive here is a complete absence of narrative, leaving us with an event that cannot be cited and is impossible as a recollection of a forgotten thought, because it was never forgotten, always remaining outside the field of memory.

Passivité n’est pas simple réception, pas plus qu’elle ne serait l’informe et inerte matière prête à toute forme — passives, les poussées de mourir (le mourir, silencieuse intensité ; ce qui ne se laisse pas accueillir ; ce qui s’inscrit sans parole, le corps au passé, corps de personne, le corps de l’intervalle :

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Passivity ( a text of Maurice Blanchot translated by Vadim Bystritski) — Before and After Francis Ponge