The Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes

– […] what pleasure wants is the site of a loss, the scam, the cut, the deflation, the dissolve which seizes the subject in the midst of bliss.

– Yet the most classical narrative (a novel by Balzac or Zola or Dickens or Tolstoy) bears within it a sort of diluted timesis: we do not read everything with the dame intensity of reading; a rhythm is established, casual, unconcerned with the integrity  of the text; our very avidity for knowledge impels us to skim or to skip certain passages (anticipated as ‘boring’) in order to get more quickly to the warmer parts of the anecdote (which are always its articulations: whatever furthers the solution of the riddle, the revelation of fate): we boldly skip (no one is watching) descriptions, explanations, analyses, conversations; doing so, we resemble a spectator in a night club who climbs onto the stage and speeds up the dancer’s striptease, tearing off her clothing, but in the same order, that is: on the one hand respecting and on the other hand hastening the episodes of the ritual (like a priest gulping down his Mass).

[ I used to be an extremely meticulous reader, not every skipping whole pages, much less a phrase or a word, and I used to find people who did, lazy and half-hearted.

Now I do skip a few pages here and there, when there seem to be a major stall point in the story and I am just too impatient. A week ago or more, D. told me he skimmed through Pessoa, and I remembered feeling indignant and shocked: how could anyone not read through Pessoa all the way to grasp the essence of his work?

So I wonder if D., who skimmed through Pessoa and declared it a good book has sex the same way – rushes foreplay, then rushes through foreplay, the rushes to climax, then rushes through orgasm, pre and post, then claims it was good; he had a good time, sex with him/her is good, when, maybe, in some dark part of him, he does not know if it was good or not.]

– Boredom is not far from bliss: it is bliss seen from the shores of pleasure.

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