Monday, June 25, 2012


From Roland Barthes' Mourning Diary:
I brood over Tolstoy's story Father Sergius (recently saw the bad film). In the final episode he finds peace (Meaning, or Exemption from Meaning) when he encounters a little girls as she was in his childhood now become a grandmother, Mavra, who simply concerns herself with the family she loves, without raising any problem of appearance, of sanctity, of the Church, etc. I tell myself: that's maman. She never employs a meta-language, a pose, a deliberate image. That's what 'Sanctity" is.
These are some of Roland Barthes' thoughts about the neutral here, I think. And he defines what being "post-meaning" is all about as well: not employing a meta-language, a pose, a deliberate image. He speaks of this in Camera Lucida as well, when he explores the notion of the "true" photograph (impossible except in very young photographic subjects; otherwise, we know better and we pose).

Source: Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary, Richard Howard, trans. (London: Notting Hill Editions, 2011), 209. [This is a beautifully bound book, and wonderfully readable, especially because of its sewn binding.]

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