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.