Reading Degree Zero

Roland Barthes made a lasting contribution to the way people see and interpret the world. If his vision had taken in the importance of approaching laundry trucks, we may have learned even more from him.

There are different approaches to reading Roland Barthes. One, seldom employed, is to treat him as though he were a modern Nostradamus.

he will be considering the object, or measuring it, or surveying it, using it at least as a spectacle; take the Giant’s Causeway, that mass of terrifying basalt composed by Nature at Antrim, in Ireland; this inhuman landscape is, one might say, stuffed with humanity; gentlemen in tricornes, lovely ladies contemplate the horrible landscape, chatting familiarly; farther on, men are fishing

With stunning prescience and scarce ambiguity, this refers to the presentation being made to Donald Trump so that he builds a golf course in North Antrim. The men fishing are Seymour Sweeney and Ian Paisley Junior.

1 Response to “Reading Degree Zero”

  1. 1 copernicus December 8, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Gary Silverman in the FT Weekender makes heavy use of Barthes today in a depressingly insightful article.

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December 2007
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