Monday, November 28, 2011


I am currently reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (really liking it thus far, btw) & have been fascinated by his use of Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse: Fragments in the novel.  I am struck by Barthes' analysis of love--his descriptions of the feelings one may have as he/she falls in, out, develops unrequited love, desire, & passion.  Many feelings he writes about are echoed by all of us--I challenge anyone not to agree.  Interestingly, it is one part that Eugenides excerpts that struck me quite viscerally.  It was about waiting.  I HATE to wait for anything.  I am extremely impatient (strangely though, when I was teaching very emotionally disabled kids, I was the utmost in patient--people would comment on that in fact). So, when I have to wait for Xing Fu, which I often end up doing, I get anxious & agitated.  Some of the exact descriptions that Barthes has indicated.  Following is a piece from that "fragment" on waiting:
attente/ waiting
Tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting
for the beloved being,
subject to trivial delays (rendevous, let-
ters, telephone calls, returns).

...Waiting is enchantment: I have re-
ceived orders not to move

I am stuck in a holding pattern--I cannot go forward & therefore it feels like my spirit is squelched in some way--maybe it means giving up control & all the anxiety that goes with that.  It is exquisitely painful for me.  And why am I always the one who waits?  What's up with that?  Is it that way for most of us--that there's always one who waits for the other?  Which brings me to another quote from Barthes:

The necessity for this book is to be found
in the following consideration: that the
lover's discourse is today of an extreme solitude. 

Yes, Barthes is correct, these feelings that one has usually occur in solitude; in our minds & nowhere else.  The absence of a lover, love, unrequited love, etc.--historically, writings about love are all about that.  The waiting (for something to happen or to see the person, e.g.). God, I hate to wait.


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