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  • Love, here, is a state of the imagination, with the lover desperate to interpret the dire ambiguities inseparable from his role. This is a speculative book, and a melancholy one, an exploration of the idiom of anxiety. Barthes's love is a passion in the old, suffering sense of the word

  • May be the most detailed, painstaking anatomy of desire that we are ever likely to see or need again... All readers will find something they recognize in Barthes' recreation of the lover's fevered consciousness: The book is an ecstatic celebration of love and language and...readers interested in either or both...will enjoy savouring its rich and dark delights

    Washington Post Book World
  • Barthes's work, along with that of Wilde and Valéry, gives being an aesthete a good name... Defending the senses, he never betrayed the mind

    Susan Sontag

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