Quotes Categories

Roland Barthes Quotes

(1915-1980), French Semiologist

The face of Garbo is an Idea, that of Hepburn an Event.

Category: Acting And Actors

Other countries drink to get drunk, and this is accepted by everyone; in France, drunkenness is a consequence, never an intention. A drink is felt as the spinning out of a pleasure, not as the necessary cause of an effect which is sought: wine is not only a philter, it is also the leisurely act of drinking.

Category: Alcohol And Alcoholism

There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society: to retreat ahead of it.

Category: Alienation

I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.

Category: Automobiles

Historically and politically, the petit-bourgeois is the key to the century. The bourgeois and proletariat classes have become abstractions: the petite-bourgeoisie, in contrast, is everywhere, you can see it everywhere, even in the areas of the bourgeois and the proletariat, what's left of them.

Category: Class

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!

Category: Interviews

All official institutions of language are repeating machines: school, sports, advertising, popular songs, news, all continually repeat the same structure, the same meaning, often the same words: the stereotype is a political fact, the major figure of ideology.

Category: Language

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.

Category: Language

There are two kinds of liberalism. A liberalism which is always, subterraneously authoritative and paternalistic, on the side of one's good conscience. And then there is a liberalism which is more ethical than political; one would have to find another name for this. Something like a profound suspension of judgment.

Category: Liberals

Literature is without proofs. By which it must be understood that it cannot prove, not only what it says, but even that it is worth the trouble of saying it.

Category: Literature

To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive and impoverished.

Category: Love

Myth is neither a lie nor a confession: it is an inflexion.

Category: Myth

The New is not a fashion, it is a value.

Category: Novelty

To hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don't want to show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other.

Category: Passion

The photographic image... is a message without a code.

Category: Photography