Pleasure and Plebeians Pt. 1

Here’s how Roland Barthes has a way of being, or seeming, suspect: his brief survey of The Pleasure Of The Text makes no mention of harmonious or metrical language in serious poetry. How could textuality engender any more pleasure then it does from poetic diction, musical language, melopoeia, what have you? The texts Barthes tends to lean on are formally barbarous compared, say, to Keats’ Odes; but the larger point I want to make, beyond Barthes being largely a plebeian version of a literary critic and aesthete, has to do with both formality in poetry and how it relates to the intimate I-Thou relationship between writer and reader (with the text itself occupying a middle ground) illuminated by Posit. What I want to express is a practical tangent to what Barthes expresses in his book; Barthes points to what in avant-garde novels is seductive, “cruises” the reader; and misses the obvious point that formality, harmonious language in serious poetry was developed partly for people to seduce each other (usually men seducing women), and that formality in serious poetry is the most obviously seductive facet of any given language, French or English. What the seduction is meant to lead to is an intimate relationship that finds its consummation in the penetration of artful language into the human brain. More on this later.