The Veiling of Homoerotic Desire in Roland Barthes' S/Z

Carrie Watterson

Bouchardon replaces not the father but the mother, whose absence (No. 153) has led the child into licentiousness, excess, anomie; like a mother, Bouchardon understands, cares for, helps (SYM. Mother and son). (S/Z, 97)

Since Sarrasine is "licentious," Bouchardon's "salutory influence," even though finally for art's sake, must be a moral one: the son's sexuality is protected, preserved, annulled by the mother. Sequestration from sex designates, in Sarrasine, aphanisis, castration. . . thus, in the end, La Zambinella will be for Sarrasine only the consciousness of what he has been all along. (100)

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