Barthes on Desire and writing: it’s not for me, a blind subject, buried in the imaginary

31 Mar

Why do I write? — It could, among other reasons, be out of obligation: for example, in the service of a Cause, a social, moral end, to instruct, enlighten, militate, or entertain. These are not negligible reasons, but to me they look a bit like justifications, excuses, in that they make Writing contingent upon a social or moral (external) demand. Now, to the extent that I’m capable of lucidity on this point, I know that I write to satisfy a desire (in the strong sense): the Desire to Write –> I can’t say that Desire is the origin of Writing, because I’ve not been granted extensive knowledge of my Desire or of its every determination:  one Desire can always stand in for another, and it’s not for me, a blind subject, buried in the imaginary, to trace my Desire back to its original impulse: I can only say that there was a certain point of departure to the Desire to Write, which I’m able to identify.

–Roland Barthes, The Preparation of the Novel


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Badger, Party of 7


james (w) moore

poems, and the poet who poems them

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Daily Discussions of craft and the writing life

Vinita Words

It's always about writing...

David J. Bauman

Co-author of Mapping the Valley

MarLa Sink Druzgal

Freelance Creative Professional

Beth Gilstrap

Writer * Editor * Educator * Weirdo

Anthony Wilson

Lifesaving Poems


Just another site

Grant Clauser

(poetry and other stuff, but mostly poetry)

Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

Just another site

Largehearted Boy

a roominghouse for the servants of the duende

%d bloggers like this: