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Roland Barthes Quotes

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Roland Barthes
November 12, 1915 - March 25, 1980
Nationality: French
Category: Critic
Subcategory: French Critic

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


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


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


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!


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


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


What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.


What I claim is to live to the full the contradiction of my time, which may well make sarcasm the condition of truth.


Literature is the question minus the answer.


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


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


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


For the theatre 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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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