Quotations From ROLAND BARTHES

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  • There are people who think that wrestling is an ignoble sport. Wrestling is not sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a wrestled performance of suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque.
    Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French semiologist. "The World of Wrestling," Mythologies (1957, trans. 1972). "What wrestling is above all meant to portray," Barthes added, "is a purely moral concept: that of justice. The idea of 'paying' is essential to wrestling, and the crowd's 'Give it to him' means above all else 'Make him pay.'..."

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  • What the Journal posits is not the tragic question, the Madman's question: "Who am I?", but the comic question, the Bewildered Man's question: "Am I?" A comic—a comedian, that's what the Journal keeper is.
    Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French semiologist. repr. In Barthes: Selected Writings (1982). "Deliberation," no. 82, Tel Quel, Paris (Winter 1979).
  • The skyscraper establishes the block, the block creates the street, the street offers itself to man.
    Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French semiologist. repr. In The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, trans. by Richard Howard (1979). "Buffet Finishes off New York," Arts (Paris, 1959).
  • Through the mythology of Einstein, the world blissfully regained the image of knowledge reduced to a formula.
    Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French semiologist. "The Brain of Einstein," Mythologies (1957, trans. 1972).

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