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La Preparation du roman — Roland Barthes (excerpt)

Posted in Uncategorized by supergoing on September 29, 2010

Craft and General Conversation

“I never tire of hearing people talk about their craft, the problems they come up against in their work, whatever it is they do. Most of the time, unfortunately, people think they’re under an obligation to engage in general conversation. How many times have I been irritated and frustrated by a conversation – that others make ‘general’ – because a specialist whom I’d dearly love to hear discuss his specialism starts making banal cultural or philosophical remarks when he could be telling me about his craft! – Intellectuals in particular never discuss their craft, as if they didn’t have one: they have ‘ideas’, ‘positions’, but no craft!”

“… What? These writers who pay attention to which pen they use, to the kind of paper or the desk they write on! They’re crazy, etc.”

– ‘La Preparation du roman’ — Roland Barthes, translated by Kate Briggs from The Happy Hypocrite Issue #5.

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