The more we become conditioned to believe that gender is an unalterable godsend, the easier it is to lose sight of the fact that some homosexuals are coerced, not out of their own “natural desires” or special endowments, It is because of the development and oppression of my life trajectory, I made a last choice under this oppression and then became a so-called homosexual.
Roland Barthes is such a typical example of a forced homosexual, and “Roland Barthes Says Roland Barthes,” written and published four years before his death in a car accident, helps to restore that he was “made into” The complex course of homosexuality and clarify this point.
Roland Barthes was born in Normandy, France in 1915. He is the greatest contemporary French literary critic, linguist and semiotician, and one of the well-deserved initiators of the Structuralism movement. For such a master who has a universal influence on the intellectual world, people unconsciously have a strong interest in their growth experience, especially their emotional privacy and other issues. But for a long time, Barthes has never said a word about his private life, especially his sexual orientation, and has been kept secret. Now it is known that Roland Barthes was a homosexual, mainly because some of his diaries were exposed after his death, and these diaries more or less recorded the scene of Barthes wandering in the neighborhood surrounded by male prostitutes, but more The most direct information is derived from his autobiographical work “Roland? Barthes said Roland? Barthes.
But it seems that because Barthes was too worried about his privacy being easily exposed in front of him, his work is completely composed of serious and frivolous semiotic styles, and the order of the original book was completely disrupted after the first draft of the work was completed. Therefore, the readers who read this work now, the first reaction is that the whole book is messy and disorganized. Even the dedicated Roland Barthes
researchers are only satisfied with extracting some fragments from it as the basis for their own arguments. But this is a complete work after all. By restoring the original simple order and structure of this work in chronological order, the simplicity and interest of this work emerge.
In this autobiography, Roland Barthes said frankly that he wanted love and attention in his youth. The reason why this desire is so strong is not that it cannot be satisfied in reality (here refers to childhood), on the contrary, this desire Feelings and impulses, like any human greed, are constantly reinforced by existing human emotions. According to the current authoritative views in the medical field, such as the views of the Freudian school, homosexuals become homosexuals because their sexual desires are distorted when they are young and cannot achieve healthy development. Therefore, their childhood misfortune, their Childhood loneliness and low self-esteem may make them gay. However, it is clearly shown in his autobiography that he did not feel inferior to his birth. He was always proud of his hometown, the city with a simple structure and surrounded by mountains in which he was born. A level of pride of home. In his childhood, he was accompanied by brothers, sisters and many young friends, and was sheltered by his own mother. We can feel his satisfaction and joy in life everywhere in the book, and his psychology was not out of balance in his childhood.
There are too many puzzling places in this autobiography. If there was such a strong preoccupation with love in the heart of little Barthes, it seems that it should have left its trace in any reminiscence episode, but there is no specific and noteworthy girl in the autobiography. A question about the meaning of love. yes! The young Barthes longs for love, but he refuses to recall the name of the girl he loved. There is undoubtedly a lot of helplessness hidden behind this refusal, but it is more likely that he is trying to hide the fact that he was rejected. Why is he unwilling to admit these simple facts? Because Roland Barthes was born with extreme sensitivity and almost poor self-esteem. Behind this self-esteem and behind any efforts to maintain it, there is no doubt that his inferiority complex stands, the inferiority complex that goes deep into the marrow!
Why did a sound family bring him such an inferiority complex? There seems to be no valid answer to be found in this minimalist autobiography. Could it be that what he had said about his childhood happiness were empty and fabricated lies? However, in a large number of other works of Barthes, he can’t help but describe the beauty of his hometown and the kindness of his mother in raising him. But the direct source of this inferiority complex should be due to Barthes being weak and sick since he was a child. In his autobiography, he left a memory that seemed out of place. It said that when he was a child, he played with his friends on a small slope. Everyone slid down the slope one by one, but because of extreme fear, little Barthes, Don’t dare to slide down. Everyone thought it was his performance of pretending to be arrogant, so in order to punish the stray little Barthes, they drew a circle on the ground and asked him to stay inside and not let him get out of the drawn circle. In the end, it was because his mother waited too long for him to come home for dinner, and finally found little Barthe standing in a small circle next to the slope, motionless, in the process of searching without a clue. Although the autobiography also records many happy times of playing with his childhood playmates, because he was weak and sick since he was a child, he is unavoidably timid and cowardly, and he is naturally sensitive. Falling into a quagmire of inferiority.
Roland Barthes was sent to a sanatorium four times in his life. The first time was at the end of 1934, after Barthes had just finished his high school exams, due to the rapid deterioration of his tuberculosis, he was sent to a specialized sanatorium in the town of Bodou in the Aspus Valley of the Pyrenees Mountains for treatment. Therefore, he missed the École Normale Supérieure de Paris. The second time was in 1943. At this time, Barthes had just obtained a bachelor’s degree certificate and was about to make a difference. When the illness struck again, it shattered his dream. In the meantime, he voluntarily gave up treatment because he was eager to change his life state of inaction. But a relapse of tuberculosis soon followed, and with it he was sent to a sanatorium for the third time, in 1945-1946. The fourth time he was sent to a nursing home was in 1947. These four hospitalization experiences can be said to run through the most important period of his life. Because of these few treatments, he missed his once important expectations. The experience in the nursing home is undoubtedly the main cause of his inferiority complex, and it is also the main and most painful memory in his life (but he naturally likes to recall this experience like a demon, and because his experience will Comparing myself with other great men, it cannot but be said that there is a complex masochism in the heart of Barthes about this experience).
No one knows exactly what happened to him in the nursing home, because no one came to visit him at all, as he recalled in his autobiography, and it was almost at that time that he realized that he had no more fun without knowing it. with. What a bleak realization this is!
The memoirs about Barthes now like to tell such a story, saying that Barthes liked to read the books he saw to the elderly in the nursing home, so that a patient at that time pointed out solemnly: “He (referring to Barthes) must finally Can enter the academy.” However, there is no record of it in Barthes’ works, and it is clear that these narratives are more fiction than fact. The main activity of Roland Barthes in the nursing home seems to be reading, and he often makes some cards for his own writing projects, but he never has the habit of reading books or newspapers to the elderly. In his autobiography he states that during his first sanatorium he read mainly Michelet, which would, of course, become a constant theme in Barthes’ work. Meanwhile, during the first and second phases of his hospitalization, Barthes had been reading a novel, Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain!
Roland Barthes later recalled in a letter to a friend that he felt that his experience of staying in a nursing home due to tuberculosis was like a “real version” of the protagonist’s experience in “The Magic Mountain”!
No one pays attention to this sentence, but it is crucial. It is difficult for readers now to understand the impact of The Magic Mountain on the European intellectual circles at that time. “The Magic Mountain” is an immortal work that Thomas Mann spent 12 years completing based on his personal experience. The novel tells the story of a college student Hans visiting his cousin Joachim in a tuberculosis sanatorium located in the Alps, but unexpectedly he also contracted tuberculosis and was forced to stay for treatment. During the treatment, he came into contact with people from all over the world, with different personalities and ideas, and fell in love with the Russian woman Kravgia. Influenced by various ideas such as mysticism, realism, and utilitarianism, Hans finally became confused and depressed, and fell into the “Magic Mountain” and couldn’t extricate himself. In the end, Hans, who finally walked out of the “Magic Mountain” due to the death of his lover, the disillusionment of spiritual ideals and the outbreak of war, became a metaphorical typical character.
While in the sanatorium, Barthes read The Magic Mountain over and over again, looking for such metaphors and symbols! Although he had the same tuberculosis as Hans, although he may have also accepted the influence of various ideas, although he also felt lonely, even more lonely. But he did not experience “love”!
The “Magic Mountain Story” who finally chose to give up love is completely different from Barthes who never picked up love in the nursing home. Barthes, who lacks love, has a deformed experience of “Magic Mountain”. If he wants to say that his experience in the nursing home is a realistic version of “Magic Mountain”, then he can only draw the conclusion that he must have expected love in the nursing home. But he is unwilling to admit this in his autobiography, but only expresses a similar naked desire.
Whether or not Barthes experienced a love affair while in the nursing home, he was sure to end up with nothing but disappointment. Because in the autobiography, in the part about the memories of the nursing home, words and sentences that represent disappointment and depression are everywhere. He is quite desperate, thinking that he has been expelled from life and the world, he has no confidence, and thinks that he has been exiled by the world and abandoned by love! He gave up hope of reintegrating into society.
But the result was unexpected: the treatment was over, and he recovered! He reintegrated into society and was not called back to the nursing home from time to time, as he had been in the past.
However, when he returned to life, he said in his autobiography: “Symbols are more real than life, or what is real is always just symbols.” He has become too depressed, and he is used to this feeling of loneliness and depression.
He is desperately suppressing his desire. In his autobiography, he complains about the monotony of life and the lack of attractiveness of his “body”, but at the same time, he finds that his “sexual desire” cannot be suppressed. As the only way to resolve this contradiction, Roland Barthes finally chose to become a “homosexuality”
Roland Barthes chose to “seek male prostitutes”, but he did not get the happiness he expected. He may have always imagined There are also a lot of descriptions and discussions about homosexuality in “The Magic Mountain”, and he also knows these dialogues by heart, forcing himself to slowly adapt to this passion and feeling, so as to obtain spiritual liberation But in his autobiography, he can only complain again and again, and he is often depressed to the point of tears, because he painfully found that these male prostitutes “don’t want to approach me, touch my flesh”, and he once again felt disappointed and inferior on the level of love.
Barthes never really got his fill of gay pleasure, instead he tasted mostly frustration, but he always seemed to like to put on an air of having fun. Friends had noticed his Reluctantly, a friend once asked him: “If Kristeva accepted your love, would you give up homosexuality? Barthes smiled and said nothing.
This noncommittal attitude can at least show that Roland Barthes once expressed his affection for his proud student Kristeva, and his love is generally felt and perceived by the people around him , but in the end, undoubtedly, he didn’t say anything, because he already felt such a deep inferiority complex and self-mockery during that “smile”.
Homosexuality is not just a physiological symptom, it must be dissected and analyzed as a social phenomenon. While modern medical authorities and psychoanalysts would like us to believe that homosexuality is the result of deep-seated genetic selection, or the result of distorted, reversed, or repressed childhood sexual desires, they forget that society’s They have drawn a discriminatory circle for “homosexuals”, they allow homosexuals to stay in it obediently, but this circle is not a territory to protect homosexuals, there is no equality in the circle, only discrimination! But these discriminators have forgotten that some homosexuals become homosexuals only because they cannot obtain proper sexual experience or sexual catharsis through normal channels, and this kind of tragedy (if it can be called a tragedy) is caused by these circled people. People are responsible.
When Roland Barthes crosses the road, the cold, mechanical shell of a car crashes into his “body,” ending his life. Barthes once said in his autobiography that when the doctors in the nursing home performed pneumothorax surgery on him, he no longer felt that he “owned” this body. Yes, due to tuberculosis and long-term isolation from the world and love, Roland Barthes never regained his own body, and never experienced the scene and taste of passion “running” through this “alien” body. He chose the path of tragedy, but anyone who chooses pathos can only be swallowed by tragedy in the end, because it was “decided from the beginning”.
Roland Barthes, a homosexual who has no other choice, because of his lonely and arbitrary choice, because of his stubborn love, no one recalls his life and body. People remember the semiotician Roland Barthes, remember the homosexual Roland Barthes, but forget Roland Barthes. Although he left behind his weird autobiographical work “Roland Barthes Says Roland Barthes”, how much does it restore the true face of Roland Barthes?