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

Carrie Watterson

(479) Cardinal Cicognara, who had glanced out the corner of his eye to see what had attracted his protege's attention, then saw the Frenchman: * ACT. "Murder": 2: indication of the victim. The "murder" sequence develops on the basis of the Concert Incident, which is thereby justified functionally: without the incident (which itself is due to Sarrasine's delay), there would be no greeting for Zambinella, no murder for Sarrasine.

(480) he leaned over to one of his ecclesiastical aides-de-camp and appeared to be asking the sculptor's name. * ACT. "Murder": 5: request for information.

(481) Having obtained the answer he sought, * ACT. "Murder": 4: information received.

(482) he regarded the artist with great attention * ACT. "Murder": 5: evaluation and interior decision.

(483) and gave an order to an abbe, who quickly disappeared. * ACT. "Murder": 6: secret order. This portion of the sequence has a semic as well as an operative function: it establishes a "shadowy" atmosphere (occult power of the Church, forbidden loves, secret orders, etc.), the very one which, ironically, Sarrasine had been disappointed not to find when confronted with a carousing theater party instead of a lover's tryst (No. 316). ( S/Z, 189-190)

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