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“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his or her work for peace.”

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source: Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York: Doubleday, 2009), 81.

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medium: nonfiction

“Everything began all over again immediately: arrival of manuscripts, requests, people’s stories, each person mercilessly pushing ahead his own little demand (for love, for gratitude): no sooner has she departed than the world deafens me with its continuance.”

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source: entry dated June 15, 1978, in Mourning Diary, translated by Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 2010), 146.

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medium: diary

notes: On index cards, Roland Barthes starting keeping a mourning diary the day after his mother died in October 1977.

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