Wednesday, August 29, 2007

By special request

More Roland Barthes on Roland Barthes:
Incapable of making himself convincing to himself, yet it is the very conviction of others which in his eyes makes them into creatures of theater and fascinates him. He asks the actor to show him a convinced body, rather than a true passion. Here perhaps is the best theater he has ever seen: in the Belgian dining car, certain employees (customs officer, policemen) were sitting at a corner table; they ate their meal with so much appetite, comfort, and care (choosing the spices, the pieces, the appropriate tableware, preferring at a knowing glance the steak to the insipid chicken), with manners so perfectly applied to the food (carefully scraping off their fish the suspect cream sauce, tapping their yogurt in order to remove the seal, scratching their cheese instead of peeling it, using their fruit knife as if it were a scalpel), that the whole Cook service was subverted: they were eating the same things as we were, but it was not the same menu. Everything had changed, from one end of the car to the other, by the single effect of a conviction (relation of the body not to passion or to the soul but to pleasure, to bliss).

No comments:

Post a Comment