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  • Writer's pictureCristea Zhao

7. Mourning Diary, 1977-1979




Barthes, Roland, Howard, Richard, and Leger, Nathalie. Mourning Diary : October 26, 1977-September 15, 1979. 1st American ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 2010.Mourning Diary,


Mourning for a mother, or a father takes 18 months. These ‘chaotic’ short notes were written down on paper slips in ink, or pencil. What interested me is how Barthes refused to call it mourning but suffering, that his distresses resisted to adapt into what Butler would say ’transformation’. 


What interested me is the beginning of it. After the first night of mourning, there came a repudiation after another repudiation, suggesting that the precondition to open up the process of mourning is 'knowing the body', knowing a body that is sick, knowing a body that is dying. The conversation was staged in a great dramatic tension.



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