Wednesday, January 20

How to live together? | Blog From the shooter to the city

The philosopher Michel Foucault organized, at the France secondary school and in the 1970s, a series of courses to discuss the nature of modern society. In 1977, and until his death four years later, the French sociologist Roland Barthes taught there. In the first (the 26 Wednesdays of the first part of 1977) he spoke of coexistence. How to live together? Was the title of that course. With the (difficult) transcription of Barthes’s talks and notes, Editions Du Seuil published in 2002 a notebook with the same title that Was translated, and slightly altered, by Siglo XXI editors in 2003. The text, like the course, is from demanding but immense inspirational reading. In it, Barthes observes the every day and searches the literature of many other authors, from Golding to Zola, by Proust Kafka, “romantic simulations of some spaces”.

It is understood that the idea of ​​a ghost for someone like him, who lived with his mother until almost the end of his days, is “being an orphan and finding a common father, an ugly family.” But to the value of getting personally involved is added, in this writing, the effort to search for that trace of truth in the writings of others.

The coexistence that Barthes talks about is not only spatial. It also occurs in time and it is this sum of relationships that allows the reader to deDuce the fragmentary character of reality and Barthes the imaginary character of contemporaneity, as he says. In this notebook, the sociologist talks about lamps and beds, Robinson Crusoe (a lot) and anchorites, vacationers “intellectuals who live in a dacha During the summRequest Rykwert’s primitive hut: “the house cannot be understood without relation to the sacred ”, he wrote, remember, in 1977.

For Barthes, his course Was not a lesson but an investigation. Here are some of the daily domestic issues, large and small, discussed, proposed or pointed out in the course that still give a lot to thi Theabout.

“Monacanl [monacal], the metaphor of the nude: neither an object on the table nor a paper on the dresser nor an ornament on the walls. The bare wood, the bare marble, the bare wall. The opposite of the Buddhist monasteries of Ceylon: tablecloths, cushions, pieces of fine and clean white cloth, cupboard with some books, radio, photos – of Charlot in Modern times-… little but good, a kind of Epicureanism ”. “The luxury of the room, indeed, comes from its freedom”

Pascal: “All the misery comes from not knowing how to stay in your own room.”

“The Piranesi cabins are the anti-cabin, a demonic overturn, the space of crisis, of the drama of the sublime. He said it: from terror arises pleasure ”.

Rilke: “He carried his darkness deep within himself, the refuge and tranquility of a house.”

On fear, remember Robinson’s: “Robinson’s obsessive, almost delusional worry.” “As soon as traces of a man appear, he begins to take protective measures: the house totally hidden, invisible, a system of fences and hiding places, the closure as a delirium, as a limit experience.”

“Although the basic hypothesis is always a sexual relationship (as if sex were the only possible situation that allows two indiviDuals to get closer) live together It does not refer only to the marital relationship. It is a reciprocal relationship, a madness of two ”.

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