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“The multiplication of modes of writing is a modern phenomenon which forces a choice upon the writer, making form a kind of behaviour and giving rise to an ethic of writing. To all the dimensions which together made up the literary creation is henceforth added a new depth, since form is by itself a kind of parasitical mechanism of the intellectual function. Modern writing is a truly independent organism which grows around the literary act, decorates it with a value which is foreign to its intention, ceaselessly commits it to a double mode of existence, and superimposes upon the content of the words opaque signs which carry with them a history, a second-order meaning which compromises or redeems it, so that with the situation of thought is mingled a supplementary fate, often diverging from the former and always an encumbrance to it—the fate of the form.” – Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero (trans. Annette Lavers and Colin Smith)

Published inLit & CritRoland Barthes

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