Obviously I read this a few paragraphs at a time, with days in between readings. Also obvious, I’m sure, is that I don’t fully understand all the meanings as Barthes is presenting them. But there are some things that just stand right out and grab me:
To be with the one I love and to think of something else; this is how I have my best ideas, how I best invent what is necessary to my work. Likewise for the text: it produces, in me, the best pleasure if it manages to make itself heard indirectly; if reading it, I am led to look up often, to listen to something else. (p. 24)
This I’ve done. This I’ve felt. Marquez in particular has me stopping in the middle of a page, sometimes to lay the book aside and roll a phrase or idea around in my mind as a sourball on my tongue. There is a pleasure in this, as foreplay; drawn out with little spikes of delight as comprehension as well as inspiration and imagination build. Even once it’s understood–or not understood, but presented itself in all its possibilities–the taste remains after the candy has melted away.