Embrace November 29, 2009
Probably should promise never to quote Barthes again, but listening to Dindi on loop for the past 3 days, and spending a day at MOMA seeing lots of deranged images today, made me think of this fragment; heck, I am not sleeping anyway…
“In the loving calm of your arms”
étreinte / embrace
the gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill,
for a time, the subject’s dream of total union with
the loved being.
1. Besides intercourse (when the Image-repertoire goes to the devil), there is that other embrace, which is a motionless cradling: we are enchanted, bewitched: we are in the realm of sleep, without sleeping; we are within the voluptuous infantilism of sleepiness: this is the moment for telling stories, the moment of the voice which takes me, siderates me, this is the return to the mother (“In the loving calm of your arms,” says a poem set to music by Duparc). In this companionable incest, everything is suspended: time, law, prohibition: nothing is exhausted, nothing is wanted: all desires are abolished, for they seem definitively fulfilled.
2. Yet, within this infantile embrace, the genital unfailingly appears; it cuts off the diffuse sensuality of the incestuous embrace; the logic of desire begins to function, the will-to-possess returns, the adult is superimposed upon the child. I am then two subjects at once: I want maternity and genitality.
3. A moment of affirmation; for a certain time, though a finite one a deranged interval, something has been successful: I have been fulfilled (all my desires abolished by the plenitude of their satisfaction): fulfillment does exist, and I shall keep on making it return: persist in wanting to rediscover to renew the contradiction — the contraction — of the two embraces.
— A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments Roland Barthes