Roland Barthes “Armudiskursuse katkeid”

“Armudiskursuse katkeid” (originally “Fragments d’un discours amoureux” in French) is the Estonian translation of the emotional journey of the French writer Roland Barthes (1915-1980) through the linguistic outbursts of a lover, prompted by seemingly trivial, random circumstances. The book was published in 1977 and became Barthes’ most successful work during his lifetime. One of the reasons for this was certainly the fact that the mystery of romantic love had not been approached in this way before. Barthes’s book is an essayistic fragmentarium that mixes a research-pedagogical approach, a literary experiment and his personal love life.

Barthes wants to reveal the language-like nature of every feeling of love. A lover is a melting pot of meaning, he tries madly to attribute meaning to everything and everywhere, and therefore every problem and solution in his love is subject to a verbal structure. The lover’s love is expressed in linguistic units or situations, the adequacy of which is guaranteed by no one but himself. Therefore, the lover is hopelessly alone in his love.

This is how Barthes mercilessly illuminates the monomaniac situation of the lover, cover by cover, but also sheds light on possible escape routes. It is probably for this reason that people have continued to turn to Barthes’s book for several generations – both for explanation and inspiration.

Translated by Anti Saar
Edited and afterword: Neeme Lopp
Language editor: Piret Põldver
Design: Maria Muuk

268 pages, in Estonian
Estonian Academy of Arts Press, 2023

ISBN 978-9916-619-84-1

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Posted by Neeme Lopp