کتاب خاطرات سوگواری

اثر رولان بارت از انتشارات حرفه هنرمند ‏‫ - مترجم: محمدحسین واقف-بهترین کتاب ها و نمایشنامه های فلسفی

Le journal intime écrit par Roland Barthes dans les mois qui ont suivis la mort de sa mère, l’être cher par-dessus tout, en automne 1977. La Chambre claire évoquait déjà largement ce deuil douloureux, qui transforme complètement le regard de Barthes sur la photographie, désormais vu comme le lieu d’une possible résurrection de l’être perdu. Ici, nous sommes tout à la fois dans un constat détaillé et dans une interrogation intime et philosophique du deuil, absolument singulier, impartageable. Cet inédit est une pièce décisive dans la compréhension de Roland Barthes, qui aura vécu toute sa vie auprès de sa mère et ne lui aura survécu que trois ans, les années de l’impossible deuil. Un document émouvant, rédigé au jour le jour en brefs fragments qui, comme toujours chez Barthes, dépassent l’expérience personnelle pour toucher à l’universel. Nous sommes tous porteurs d’un deuil, et celui-ci nous touche, nous éclaire.


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تجربه‌ی بارت از مرگ مادر سهمگین است. بار خاطرات هستی، عکس خودش آن‌قدرها سبک نیست. چنبره می‌زند روی حافظه. می‌فشارد. رنج دارد دیگر. رنجور ما هم که حساس؛ رنج می‌کشد. اما که یک جای کار را درست نمی‌خواند. می‌گوید که زمان از رنج کم نخواهد کرد. اما که چنین نیست. مگر می‌شود زمان حافظه را دستکاری نکند؟ حالا شاید نتوانیم بگوییم که می‌شوید و می‌برد. اما که می‌شود گفت لهیب گر-گروی خاطرات را از صورت حافظه می‌تکاند و می‌برد آن لا-لوها گوشه‌ای می‌خواباند که فقط گاهی صدای نق نقش بلند شود. نمی‌شود؟

مشاهده لینک اصلی
سطرهایش، جمله‌های کوتاه و کلمات گزینش‌شده‌اش غمی دارند برآمده از ذهن انسانی که متفاوت است. و تفاوتش در نگاه اوست و در فکرهایش.

رولان بارت در این کتاب فیلسوف غمگینی است که هیچ تسکینی ندارد. جدیت جمله‌هایی که در کتاب‌ و مقالات دیگرش دارد در این‌جا فرو می‌پاشند و به‌جای‌اش اندوهی می‌نشیند که ثمره‌ی بی‌چون و چرای سوگواری است. رولان بارت، این‌جا پسری است که مادرش را، برای همیشه از دست داده است. حالا ترک‌شدگی، تنهایی و رنج تنها دارایی او هستند.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Barthes in annesinin ölümü ardından tuttuğu 3 parça günlükten oluşan kitap bir düşünürün saf ve en yalın halini görmek açısından çok etkileyici idi.
Aslında kitap daha çok yazarın gün gün yazdığı küçük notlardan oluşuyor. Kısa ama üzerine düşünülecek cümlelerden. Bu küçük notları daha sonra birleştirip @Vita Nova@ dediği annesinin ölümüne dair bir roman yazma tasarısı var ancak hiçbir zaman gerçekleşmiyor.
Aslında insanı bu kadar ele geçiren bir duygu karşısında yazmak kurgu yapmak oldukça zor bence.
O nedenle bu kadar çalışkan bir düşünürün Vita Nova yı hiç var edememesini yadırgamak mümkün değil.

@Bir annenin zekasından hiç söz edilmez, sanki bu onun duygululuğunu azaltmak, onu uzak göstermek gibi olur. Ama zeka bir insan ile özgürce yaşamamıza olanak veren her şeydir..@

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Barthes mother died on October 25, 1977. Her son, Roland, being an invalid-type had been nursed and coddled by her most of his life, but in their years of his mothers illness adopted the role of nurse himself. Barthes relationship with his mother was one of extreme intimacy: he lived with her his whole life, and when she passed the world as he knew it changed irremediably. TO chronicle this change he kept a @mourning diary@ in which he scrawled away, inconsistently over the proceeding two years, short accesses of emotion, insight, and reflection. Mourning Diary is a strange volume, far more personal even than Barthes autobiographical Roland Barthes, far more fragmented and disjointed than Lovers Discourse. This diary makes an excellent accompaniment to his Camera Lucida: his mothers death and the subsequent sorting of her belongings and photographs results in the discovery of a photo which will dominate the latter half of Barthes discourse on photography, and the death of his mother casts a shadow on the entirety of that work.

I am reminded profoundly of Proust and of Prousts narrator whenever I read Barthes, particularly the deeply personal portion of his work. Barthes was an avid re-reader of À la recherche du temps perdu, and in his The Pleasure of the Text he identifies it as his @infinite text@: the textual lense through which he views the world: @...I read according to Proust... I recognize that Prousts work, for me at least, is the reference work, the general mathesis, the mandala of the entire literary cosmogony.@ The parallels between Barthes and Proust (and his narrator) are numerous: both are deeply reflexive, both profound aesthetics, both are sensitive, homosexual (perhaps not the case for Prousts narrator); they are delicate, porcelain dolls: invalids, attached to their mothers to the extent bordering on unnatural, nearly Oedipal. However the reflexive nature of both Barthes and Proust discover in themselves the profound egoism of grief, jealousy, love. For Barthes, he painfully acknowledges the ego-centrism of his grief:
How I loved maman: I never resisted going to meet her, celebrated seeing her again (vacations), put her within my @freedom@; in short I associated her profoundly, scrupulously. Acedia comes from such desolation: no one around me, for whom I would have the courage to do the same thing.
and again:
Mourning: At the death of the loved being, acute phase of narcissism: one emerges from sickness, from servitude. Then, gradually, freedom takes on leaden hue, desolation settles in, narcissism gives way to a sad egoism, and absence of generosity.
The egoism of grief is profoundly different from the narcissism of freedom, though they are related. Where the narcissism of relief is one of independence (I am responsible for no one), the egoism of grief is one of icy solitude (there is no one who I care for). Grief, like all extremes of emotion, is a wholly reflexive process, or rather state: @No progress in pleasures (neither in grief), nothing but mutations.@

Grief has a rhythm, a texture to reality, a vacillation and wave of intensity, rather than a progression or @adaptation@ period. For Barthes, love, grief, never fade, if they are genuine they are ever renewed in sharp waves of emotion. Despite sharing the same imagery, Barthes views on the ocean of sorrow are different from many before him. Henry James wrote:
Sorrow comes in great waves — no one can know that better than you — but it rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain. It wears us, uses us, but we wear it and use it in return; and it is blind, whereas we after a manner see.
For James, sorrow is an ocean which wears us down, but which we redirect, which we overcome, which passes us by. There is a calming solace in the repetition of waves crashing, but slowly a resistance building, and ultimately a vast ocean overcome like a summer rain. For Barthes, the imagery of the ocean is one of recurring pain, renewed intensity: the dull acedia of the trough and the jarring pain of the crest.
If only I could utter the profound desire of self-communion, of withdrawal, of @Dont concern yourself with me,@ which comes to me straight and inflexibly from the somehow @eternal@ suffering - a self-communion so true that the inevitable little struggles, the caricatures, the wounds, everything that inevitably occurs as soon as one survives, are nothing but a bitter froth on the surface of a deep sea...
It is the rhythm and routine of suffering which haunts Barthes, it is the on-off up-down vacillations which renew the strength of his pain.
What affects me most powerfully: mourning in layers—a kind of sclerosis.
[Which means: no depth. Layers of surface—or rather, each layer: a totality. Units]
It is the illusion of discontinuity which is the cause of pain in grief: the feeling that it weakens, that it goes away, even if for a minute, that instills both hope and horror that one day grief will die away, fade.
I waver—in the dark—between the observation (but is it entirely accurate?) that I’m unhappy only by moments, by jerks and surges, sporadically, even if such spasms are close together—and the conviction that deep down, in actual fact, I am continually, all the time, unhappy since maman’s death.

But like all great passions of emotion: grief is self-indulgent. The retreat into oneself is the surest form of egoism. The diary is a profoundly egoistic format; it is a mirror into oneself which bars entrance to others, which gives the illusion of inaccessibility and uniqueness of feeling: but which ultimately a self-guarded prison. Barthes grief is self-propagated, it is deliberately given vigor: Barthes pain is a recurring self-infliction. The naked heartbreak in his diary may as well be written with a knife upon his heart, coming in waves themselves: frequent enough to sustain pain: never enough time for the sutures to heal. For Barthes, his own pain is the only @monument@ which he feels worthy of his mothers memory. While he knows that his mother would hate to see him suffering, he cannot bear the thought of a release: one which would afford him an access of happiness in a world without his loved mother. Despite the seeming self-effacing nature of this sacrifice, it is a morbid narcissism: it is the hope that someone will suffer eternally for him. In his mothers death he sees the last barrier to his own death brought down, he sees his death as inevitable: mortality as universal: all men must die, I must one day die. If she lives on in his memory, it is a horrible second-hand life, a life which no one can want, least of all a mother. Like King Lear casting off his love to indulge in the egoism of flattery, or immortality in filial love, Barthes adopts acedia, casts off pleasures, retreats into his excesses of emotion: sacrifices to the false idol of immortality in grief.
To whom could I put this question (with any hope of an answer)?

Does being able to live without someone you loved mean you loved her less than you thought...?


مشاهده لینک اصلی
2013 is the ten year anniversary of my mother’s death.

Pre-dawn, Las Vegas, August 17. “I’m sorry to wake you,” my sister’s voice through the receiver, “but Mom died last night.”

C.S. Lewis: No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

Barthes conjures words wrenched from suffering. A day’s events are distilled and filtered through the lens of loss. Every ache, an intensity that wounds anew. Barthes: At each “moment” of suffering, I believe it to be the very one in which for the first time I realize my mourning.

I went to bed late the night of August 16th, smug from having won $4,000 playing blackjack. I envision the specter of time tapping me on the shoulder as I laid my head upon the hotel pillow and whispering in my ear, “You will use that money to bury your mother.”

Barthes: As soon as someone dies, frenzied construction of the future (shifting furniture, etc.). August 18 – 22 in Houston. Our family room is filled with every chair in the house to accommodate visitors. Everyone looks and acts like they are in a play in which everyone has forgotten their lines. My father offers people food, cooked and delivered by other people. I give a dirty look to anyone who unwittingly sits in Shirley’s favorite chair.

November, 2004, a year after Shirley’s death. I am home for Thanksgiving, the second without her. My childhood home has become a Shirley museum. A year after her death and everything is exactly as it was the day before her death. Her medicine bottles sit bedside, clothes in the closet, recipe book open on the counter. I expect to see her walk into the room at any moment. I am the only family member that seems to be bothered. This is the last time I will spend the night in this house, the last holiday celebrated.

Barthes: The most painful point at the most abstract moment…

The family is in the hearse heading to the grave for the ceremony, leading the long line of mourners. Police tag-team the stoplights; we avoid all traffic. I laugh, actually laugh, thinking of Dennis Miller’s joke: “It is a cruel irony that we spend our whole lives waiting at stoplights, and when we die, we don’t have to stop at them. ‘Well, I’m dead, but I’m making good time!’” I cover my chuckle, turn it into a sob. No one notices.

Barthes: Don’t say Mourning. It’s too psychoanalytic. I’m not mourning. I’m suffering.

Holiday season, 2012. I call my sister and say, “Doesn’t it bother you that ten years after mom’s death she still doesn’t have a headstone?” She agrees with me, says it is time we get her one. We have both tiptoed around this issue with our father, but I can’t take it anymore. I imagine people scouting the graveyard for a nice plot, see the unmarked area, inquire and find that it contains an interred beloved. So beloved that they didn’t bother to give her a grave marker. I call my father, tell him we are getting a headstone. “I’ll do it,” he says, defeated. “It just has always felt that to do so would make everything … so final.”

Barthes: To see with horror as quite simply possible the moment when the memory of those words she spoke to me would no longer make me cry.

It’s been ten years, Shirley. I have a daughter you’ve never met. I am married to a different woman. Would you even recognize me?

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This is a book that was very meaningful to me, but it is not something I would widely recommend. It was such a personal read that I even had trouble discussing it with friends.

When Roland Barthes mother died on October 25, 1977, he started writing notes about his grief. This mourning diary covers nearly two years, and some passages were so moving and powerful that they felt poetic. This book was published after Barthes death (tragically, he died just a few years after his mother, due to complications from an auto accident) and his notes are unfinished, scattered and chaotic. But there is beauty in these journal entries — the truth of his suffering is laid bare. I could not critique this book; I could only relate to it.

I reached for this text because I am also mourning my mother, and in Barthes writings I found some solace. There is comfort in meeting a fellow traveler in grief, even if his journey happened nearly 40 years ago. (Similarly, Barthes found comfort in Prousts writings on grief.)

I so appreciated this book that I lingered over it for a week, taking my time, slowly reading and marking passages. I was grateful for the companionship. After a death, people tell you to move on, focus on living, it gets easier, youll be fine. Dont tell me Im fine. Things arent fine. Things will never be fine. People want you to act fine so that they can feel better about themselves, and I was grateful that Barthes figuratively called bullshit on this social custom.

This was my first Roland Barthes book, and while it was an unusual place to begin, I liked it so much that I will look up his other, more complete works. Recommended to those who appreciate grief memoirs.

Meaningful Passages
People tell you to keep your @courage@ up. But the time for courage is when she was sick, when I took care of her and saw her suffering, her sadness, and when I had to conceal my tears. Constantly one had to make a decision, put on a mask, and that was courage.

[Status confusion] For months, I have been her mother. It is as if I had lost my daughter.

Moments when Im @distracted@ (speaking, even having to joke) — and somehow going dry — followed by sudden cruel passages of feeling, to the point of tears.

Always that painful wrench between my ease in talking, in taking an interest, in observing, in living as before, and the impulses of despair.

To whom could I put this question (with any hope of an answer)? Does being able to live without someone you loved mean you loved her less than you thought?

Dont say mourning. Its too psychoanalytic. Im not mourning. Im suffering.

Now, from time to time, there unexpectedly rises within me, like a bursting bubble: the realization that she no longer exists, she no longer exists, totally and forever. This is a flat condition, utterly unadjectival — dizzying because meaningless (without any possible interpretation). A new pain.

Everyone is @extremely nice@ — and yet I feel entirely alone.

Everything pains me. The merest trifle rouses a sense of abandonment. Im impatient with other people, their will to live, their universe. Attracted by a decision to withdraw from everyone.

Difficult feeling (unpleasant, discouraging) of a lack of generosity. It troubles me. I can only put this into some relation with the image of maman, so perfectly generous (and she used to tell me: you have a good heart). I had supposed that once she was gone I would sublime that absence by a sort of perfection of @kindness,@ the surrender of all kinds of nastiness, jealousy, narcissism. And I am becoming less and less @noble,@ @generous.@

I had thought that mamans death would make me someone @strong,@ acceding as I might to worldly indifference. But it has been quite the contrary: I am even more fragile.

It is said that Time soothes mourning — no, Time makes nothing happen; it merely makes the emotivity of mourning pass.

What have I to lose now that Ive lost my Reason for living — the Reason to fear for someones life.

To think, to know that maman is dead forever, completely, is to think, letter by letter, that I too will die forever and completely. There is then, in mourning, a radical and new domestication of death; for previously, it was only a borrowed knowledge (clumsy, had from others, from philosophy), but now it is my knowledge.

For the last few nights, images — nightmares during which I see maman sick, abused. Terror. I am suffering from the fear of what has happened.

Like love, mourning affects the world — and the worldly — with unreality, with importunity. I resist the world, I suffer from what it demands of me, from its demands. The world increases my sadness, my dryness, my confusion, my irritation. The world depresses me.

When maman was living (in other words, in my whole past life) I was neurotically in fear of losing her. Now (this is what mourning teaches me) such mourning is so to speak the only thing in me which is not neurotic: as if maman, by a last gift, had taken neurosis, the worst part, away from me.

The truth about mourning is quite simple: now that maman is dead, I am faced with death (nothing any longer separates me from it except time).

Mourning: At the death of the loved being, acute phase of narcissism: one emerges from sickness, from servitude. Then, gradually, freedom takes on a leaden hue, desolation settles in, narcissism gives way to a sad egoism, an absence of generosity.

Disappointment of various places and trips. Not really comfortable anywhere. Very soon, this cry: I want to go back! (but where? since she is no longer anywhere, who was once where I could go back). I am seeking my place.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
“That’s how I grasp my mourning. Not directly in solitude, empirically, etc.; I seem to have a kind of ease, of control that makes people think I’m suffering less than they would have imagined. But it comes over me when our love for each other is torn apart once again. The most painful point at the most abstract moment…”- Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary

I doubt I’d have picked this book up had it not been for my uncle’s recent death. Grief isnt the sort of thing I exactly want to think about but in this case I had to confront it, and felt reading someone elses thoughts might help put things into perspective for me.

Barthes’ diary is about the death of his mother, who he was obviously very close to, and it is one of the most heart-wrenching pieces of writing I’ve ever read:

@Suffering, like a stone…
(around my neck,
Deep inside me)@


It was so very touching, perhaps even more so as I was thinking about my late uncle, life, death, grief... And I’ve also been writing, though nothing as gut-wrenching or as emotional as Barthes did. In fact I forgot about my grief and dwelled on his, a man who has been dead since 1980. The impact of the written word is eternal.

From the little I know about Barthes, I’m aware that he was a linguist among other things and indeed he had some thoughts on the language of mourning. Which got me thinking about the cultural aspects of grief and mourning but I’m still dealing with/thinking about that:


“My suffering is inexpressible but all the same utterable, speakable. The very fact that language affords me the word “intolerable” immediately achieves a certain tolerance.”


The composition of the diary was very short diary entries over the space of several months but there was so much emotion distilled in each entry:

“As soon as someone dies, frenzied construction of the future (shifting furniture, etc.); futuromania.”

What I appreciated was the personal explorations of how grief plays a part in all parts of life. There are levels of grief, and our grief changes how we see almost everything. And theres no time-frame to get over the grief either. But grief as something personal is something I’ve heard a lot over the years, and I realize nobody can really understand our grief. As Barthes said, @“Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.”

Highly recommended.



مشاهده لینک اصلی
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