Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Seventh Function . . .

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

. . . Meets the Seventh Seal

See also posts mentioning Barthes in this journal.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Part and Hole

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:17 AM

See also other posts now tagged Hole.

The above review of a Feb. 13, 2018, post was suggested by the
publication date below . . .

. . .  and by today's Arts & Letters Daily  item that linked to it —

Note, in Album , the activities of
Barthes in Bucharest during 1948.

From a May 20 Log24 post, "A Cryptic Message" —

"Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story." — Title of a book by D.T. Max

Friday, October 6, 2017

Remains of the Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

Two deaths on Yom Kippur 2017 —

A note related to a Yom Kippur death seven years earlier

See also Monty's Doors as well as this  journal on Steiner and Barthes

"The Seventh Door Meets the Seventh Function" (August 26, 2017).

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Seventh Door Meets the Seventh Function

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:21 AM

The Seventh Function
of Language
A novel by Laurent Binet

The New York Times  
online Aug. 16, 2017, 
in a book review —

"What if . . . Barthes was murdered? . . . in order to
procure a document that Barthes possessed . . . .
That document explained that, beyond the six
functions of language proposed by the Russian
linguist Roman Jakobson, there was a seventh
secret one:  an occult kind of language-use
guaranteed to persuade, a 'magic' power of
control over a listener."

Schorske mentioned hopefully "the fresh light of
the present" in 1971.

Some later light from Brian Aldiss in his novel
Frankenstein Unbound , first published in 1973

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Interrupted Flow

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

“The interrupted flow of the new poetic language
initiates a discontinuous nature,
which is only revealed piecemeal." — Roland Barthes

From Le degré zéro de l'écriture , published in 1953 by Editions du Seuil ,
translated into English by Annette Lavers and Colin Smith as 
Writing Degree Zero  and published in 1967 by Jonathan Cape Ltd.

Link Degree Zero

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:17 PM

From a 2009-2016 exhibition by David Link

Related material —

The object now sails slowly ahead, before starting to climb up and up, until it docks some way up in the discourse. And it sits there glowing. Yes, in an elevated position, just as Roland Barthes describes it in Writing Degree Zero . We let the magnifying glass glide over Barthes’s text, and see the word “discontinuous.” We carefully study a sentence we love: “The interrupted flow of the new poetic language initiates a discontinuous nature, which is only revealed piecemeal. At the very moment when the withdrawal of functions obscures the relations existing in the world, the object in discourse assumes an exalted place.” It is absolutely no surprise that at this point we have the picture of a luminous green prism sailing in through the dark and taking an exalted place on our retina, a bit like when you’ve been staring too hard at a lamp on the ceiling and then close your eyes! How strange, we think, that a sentence that was written to explain an aspect of modern poetry can have roughly the same effect on our imagination as science fiction. In particular, the phrase A DISCONTINUOUS NATURE, WHICH IS ONLY REVEALED PIECEMEAL makes us imagine a vast darkness and then rectangular blocks of bright green sections of nature, and they are not lined up as such, but appear in flashes. The blocks of bright green and sudden nature appear in flashes.

Gunnhild Øyehaug, from 
"The Object Assumes an Exalted Place in the Discourse,"
in Knots: Stories  (pp. 139-140).
Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.
Knots  was first published in 2004, in Norwegian.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Or:  Every Picture Tells a Story  (Continued)

Related material —

The New York Times  online today, in a book review

"What if . . . Barthes was murdered? . . . in order to
procure a document that Barthes possessed . . . .
That document explained that, beyond the six
functions of language proposed by the Russian
linguist Roman Jakobson, there was a seventh
secret one:  an occult kind of language-use
guaranteed to persuade, a 'magic' power of
control over a listener."

See also Barthes in this  journal.

"Down in the Jungle Room" — Marc Cohn

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

From "The Magis way: Notes on the publishing culture,"
by Giampiero Bosoni, at http://www.magisdesign.com/magis-world/ —

" perhaps it is interesting to reflect further on the relationship between a design object and a literary work, by reading (in whatever interpretative key you choose) the illuminating definition given by the great semiologist Roland Barthes of the act of writing and of the literary value of a text. 'Writing,' Barthes tells us, 'is historically an action that involves constant contradiction, based on dual expectations. One aspect of writing is essentially commercial, a means of control and segregation, steeped in the most materialistic aspect of society. The other is an act of pleasure, connected to the deepest urges of the body and to the subtlest and most successful products of art. This is how the written text is woven. All I have done is to arrange and reveal the threads. Now each can add his own warp to the weft.' [3]

Magis’ long and highly advanced experience has given evidence, further confirmed by this latest publishing catalogue, of an ever-growing awareness of this necessary interweaving between warp and weft, between the culture of craftsmanship and that of industry, between design culture and business culture, between form and technique, between symbolic codes and practical functions, between poetry and everyday life." 

— Giampiero Bosoni

[3] Barthes R., Variations sur l’écriture  (1972), Editions du Seuil, Paris 1994, published in the second volume of the Oeuvres complètes  1966-1975 (freely translated from the Italian translation, Variazioni sulla scrittura seguite da Il piacere del testo , Ossola C. (editor) Einaudi, Turin 1999).

See as well "Interweaving" in this journal.

"Design is how it works." — Steve Jobs

Friday, May 4, 2007

Friday May 4, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:01 PM

May '68 Revisited

"At his final Paris campaign rally… Mr. Sarkozy declared himself the candidate of the 'silent majority,' tired of a 'moral crisis in France not seen since the time of Joan of Arc.'

'I want to turn the page on May 1968,' he said of the student protests cum social revolution that rocked France almost four decades ago.

'The heirs of May '68 have imposed the idea that everything has the same worth, that there is no difference between good and evil, no difference between the true and the false, between the beautiful and the ugly and that the victim counts for less than the delinquent.'

Denouncing the eradication of 'values and hierarchy,' Mr. Sarkozy accused the Left of being the true heirs and perpetuators of the ideology of 1968."

— Emma-Kate Symons, Paris, May 1, 2007, in The Australian

Related material:

From the translator's introduction to Dissemination, by Jacques Derrida, translated by Barbara Johnson, University of Chicago Press, 1981, page xxxi —

"Both Numbers and 'Dissemination' are attempts to enact rather than simply state the theoretical upheavals produced in the course of a radical reevaluation of the nature and function of writing undertaken by Derrida, Sollers, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva and other contributors to the journal Tel Quel in the late 1960s. Ideological and political as well as literary and critical, the Tel Quel program attempted to push to their utmost limits the theoretical revolutions wrought by Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Mallarme, Levi-Strauss, Saussure, and Heidegger."

This is the same Barbara Johnson who has served as the Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society at Harvard.

Johnson has attacked "the very essence of Logic"–

"… the logic of binary opposition, the principle of non-contradiction, often thought of as the very essence of Logic as such….

Now, my understanding of what is most radical in deconstruction is precisely that it questions this basic logic of binary opposition….

Instead of a simple 'either/or' structure, deconstruction attempts to elaborate a discourse that says neither 'either/or', nor 'both/and' nor even 'neither/nor', while at the same time not totally abandoning these logics either."

— "Nothing Fails Like Success," SCE Reports 8, 1980

Such contempt for logic has resulted, for instance, in the following passage, quoted approvingly on page 342 of Johnson's  translation of Dissemination, from Philippe Sollers's Nombres (1966):

"The minimum number of rows– lines or columns– that contain all the zeros in a matrix is equal to the maximum number of zeros located in any individual line or column."

For a correction of Sollers's  Johnson's damned nonsense, click here.

Update of May 29, 2014:

The error, as noted above, was not Sollers's, but Johnson's.
See also the post of May 29, 2014 titled 'Lost in Translation.'

Friday, March 2, 2007

Friday March 2, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Today’s birthdays:

Jennifer Jones,
film star and arts patron;

Tom Wolfe, author of
The Painted Word.

“Hunt for the best.”
Norton Simon 

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/angel_angel_down_we_go2A.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Cover detail,
soundtrack recording
of the Jennifer Jones film
“Angel, Angel, Down We Go”

The girl’s left eye in the above
portrait illustrates a remark
  in yesterday’s New York Times
on a figure in a painting:

“His head recedes into shadow, so you barely see his face. But a tiny fleck of white in his eye, a light that kindles his reawakening, brings him to life. It’s what Roland Barthes, the French critic, liked to call a punctum, the spot, marking time, that burns an image into memory.”

 (This remark, by Michael Kimmelman,
comes with a headline–

Lights! Darks! Action! Cut!  
Maestro of Mise-en-Scène

— that seems to have been inspired
by Tom Wolfe’s prose style.)

For further details, see
Barthes’s Punctum,
by Michael Fried.

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