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The Decision Between UsArt and Ethics in the Time of Scenes$
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John Paul Ricco

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226717777

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226113371.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 16 June 2021

: Neutral Mourning

: Neutral Mourning

(p.127) 5: Neutral Mourning
The Decision Between Us

John Paul Ricco

University of Chicago Press

In this chapter, Roland Barthes’ book on photography Camera Lucida, is read alongside his lectures at the College de France on The Neutral and The Preparation of the Novel, in order to argue for the way in which through his writing, Barthes opened up a space for a shared sense of the future anteriority of loss and death with his readers, including in and around scenes of beds and bedrooms—as in images by such contemporary French photographers as Daniel Boudinet and Bernard Faucon, both of whom Blanchot wrote about. These images, like others in this book, are read as scenes of erotic pleasure and a certain kind of mourning now theorized as “neutral.” By attending to the textual and rhetorical spacing of Camera Lucida and other late writings, and to Barthes’ own thinking on the space of writing as peri-graphic, the author foregrounds the caesurae, parentheses, and ellipses that punctuate Barthes’ writing, and argues that these suspensions textually present and perform a notion of neutral mourning that Barthes was on the verge of developing right up until his accidental death in 1980.

Keywords:   Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, Daniel Boudinet, Bernard Faucon, Photography, Ellipsis, Neutral, Mourning

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