Places that are empty of you are empty of life.
The choice is mine: to subject its spectacle to the civilised code of perfect illusions, or to confront in it the wakening of intractable reality.
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (thank you, nuvque)
What I can name cannot really prick me. The incapacity to name is a good symptom of disturbance.
What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.
Sometimes I recognized a region of her face, a certain relation of nose and forehead, the movement of her arms, her hands. I never recognized her except in fragments, which is to say that I missed her being, and that therefore I missed her altogether. It was not she, and yet it was no one else. I would have recognized her among thousands of other women, yet I did not “find” her. I recognized her differentially, not essentially. Photography thereby compelled me to perform a painful labor; straining toward the essence of her identity, I was struggling among images partially true, and therefore totally false. To say, confronted with a certain photograph, “That’s almost the way she was!” was more distressing than to say, confronted with another, “That’s not the way she was at all.” The almost: love’s dreadful regime, but also the dream’s disappointing status—which is why I hate dreams. For I often dream about her (I dream only about her), but it is never quite [her]: sometimes, in the dream, there is something misplaced, something excessive: for example, something playful or casual—which she never was; or again I know it is she, but I do not see her features (but do we see, in dreams, or do we know?): I dream about her, I do not dream her. And confronted with the photograph, as in the dream, it is the same effort, the same Sisyphean labor: to reascend, straining toward the essence, to climb back down without having seen it, and to begin all over again.
I experience alternately two nights; one bad and one good. Most often I am in the very darkness of my desire; I know not what it wants, good itself is an evil to me, everything resounds, I live between blows, my head ringing; I am blinded by attachment to things and emotions. But sometimes too, it is another night; I think quite calmly about the other, as the other is; I suspend any interpretation; I enter into the night of non meaning; desire continues to vibrate (the darkness is transluminous), but there is nothing I want to grasp; this is the Night of non-profit, of subtle, invisible expenditure: I am here, sitting simply and calmly in the dark interior of love.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.
No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato.