Rummaging further among Barthes’s critical metaphors, Chapter Three examines some of his essays on music (and on Proust on music) from the 1970s and from 1980 alongside his seminars on the ‘Charlus-Discourse’ and a set of unpublished teaching notes for a seminar series that took place at the University of Rabat between 1969 and 1970. Proust’s novel emerges here as ‘musical’, not in the sense that its author is a particularly adept commentator on music (Barthes insists that he is not), but by virtue of the diffractions, vacillations and melodic differentials of intensity and desire by which, according to Barthes, its sentences and its discourses are inhabited.
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