JANE - IN FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE
Back to Barthes, whose French Jane is improving: “ I hallucinate what is empirically impossible: that our two proferrings are made at the same time: that one does not follow the other. Proferring cannot be double (doubled)......A revolution, in short--not so far, perhaps, from the political kind: for in both cases what I hallucinate is the absolute New (“Sing for God a New Song,” we sing here in this church every Christmas eve). “Whence,” he goes on,a new view of I-love-you. Not as a symptom but as an action: I speak so that you may answer....I-love-you is active. It affirms itself as a force--against other forces. Which ones? The thousand forces of the world, which are, all of them, disparaging forces (science...reason, reality, etc.) Or again: against language....
...As a counter-sign, I-love-you is on the side of Dionysius: suffering
is not denied...As proferring, I-love-you is on the side of expenditure....Those who seek the proferring of the word (lyric poets, liars, wanderers) are subjects of Expenditure: they spend the word, as if it were impertinent...they are at the extreme limit of language...where language itself...recognizes that it is without backing or guarantee, working without a net.”
The heat, the power of this outburst is overwhelming. But there is a sudden break that I shall have to explain near the end--a thumping now under the rug on which the great man stands. “Excuse me,” he says, through Jane, who is more surprised than I (from the beginning I knew a human presence lurked there): Barthes unrolls the rug, opens a trapdoor, descends, returns after some muffled talk to say--hold on now for a bit--”Ma Mere” (“my mother”).