Roland Barthes

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Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition.
Arthur Rubinstein
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Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915March 25, 1980) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician.


  • The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition ... always new books, new programs, new films, news items, but always the same meaning.
    • "Modern," in The Pleasure of the Text (1975)
  • Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.
    • "Talking," in A Lover's Discourse (1977)
  • What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.
    • "Le monde où l'on catche," in Mythologies (1957)
  • The politician being interviewed clearly takes a great deal of trouble to imagine an ending to his sentence: and if he stopped short? His entire policy would be jeopardized!
    • "Sentence," in The Pleasure of the Text (1975)
  • The petit-bourgeois is a man unable to imagine the Other. If he comes face to face with him, he blinds himself, ignores and denies him, or else transforms him into himself.
    • "Myth on the Right," in Mythologies (1957)

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