Roland Barthes, Collected Works, Volume III, "Non multa sed multum"

The artist has no moral, but he has a morality. From his work spring these questions: What is the meaning of others to me? How must I desire them? How do I have to give myself in to their desire? How must I stand amongst them? While stating each time “a subtle vision of the world” (thus spoke the Tao*), the artist composes what is given (or forbidden) in his culture and that which his own body insists on:  what is avoided, what is evoked, what is repeated or even:  that which is forbidden/desired:  this the paradigm which (in the same manner as legs do) makes the artist walk forward, as he works.

*allusion  to ´Thus Spoke Zarathustra´ of Nietzsche

Costantino Cavafis


Κάθομαι και ρεμβάζω.
Επιθυμίες κ’ αισθήσεις
εκόμισα εις την Τέχνην—
κάτι μισοειδωμένα,
πρόσωπα ή γραμμές•
ερώτων ατελών
κάτι αβέβαιες μνήμες.
Aς αφεθώ σ’ αυτήν.
Ξέρει να σχηματίσει
Μορφήν της Καλλονής•
σχεδόν ανεπαισθήτως
τον βίον συμπληρούσα,
συνδυάζουσα εντυπώσεις,
συνδυάζουσα τες μέρες.

Κ.Π. Καβάφης
(Από τα Ποιήματα 1897¬1933, Ίκαρος 1984)


I sit in a mood of reverie.
I brought to Art desires and sensations:
things half-glimpsed,
faces or lines, certain indistinct memories
of unfulfilled love affairs. Let me submit to Art:
Art knows how to shape forms of Beauty
Almost imperceptibly completing life,
Blending impressions, blending day with day.

C. P. Cavafy
Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.