LITERATURE: S/Z – Manner of Reading

Got through the first part of this essay by Roland Barthes, losing my way many times; but then, that’s what Barthes is saying, no?  It is reading in my own manner, my own (in)experience that brings out the meaning. 

But I certainly am willing to take his offer:

We must further accept one last freedom:  that of reading the text as if it had already been read.  Those who like a good story may certainly turn to the end of the book and read the tutor text first; it is given as an appendix in its purity and continuity, as it came from the printer, in short, as we habitually read it.  (ix. How many readings? p. 15)

And so I turn to Honore de Balzac’s short story, Sarrasine, which is what Barthes will be examining in S/Z.  It is, sizewise alone, much easier reading than what Barthes will guide me through, and I’ve already found it to be enjoyable.  Yes, I feel like an unadventurous clod by not jumping off the ledge hand in hand with Roland, but for me, the old teaches the new; the new, the old.

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