Works Which Are Nothing But Their Own Project

Roland Barthes, Preface, Critical Essays (1964)

The material text (the Book) may therefore have from its author’s point of view, an inessential and even to a certain de­gree an inauthentic character. Hence we often find works which are, by a fundamental ruse, nothing but their own project: the work is written by seeking the work, which begins fictively when it is terminated practically. Is this not the meaning of A la re­cherche du temps perdu — to present the image of a book which is written exclusively by seeking the Book?

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