Publication Details

Cosgrove, S. "Discoursing love: The classroom. A fictional response to Roland Barthes." The Creative Manoeuvres: Making, Saying, Being Papers – The Refereed Proceedings Of The 18th Conference Of The Australasian Association Of Writing Programs, 2013. Ed. S. Strange & K. Rozynski. Canberra: AAWP, 2013. 1-14. 2014

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780980757378


‘Discoursing Love: The Classroom’ offers a series of microfictions written in response to Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse Fragments (1978 [2002]). In A Lover’s Discourse Barthes seeks to ‘stage an utterance, not an analysis ... confronting the other (the loved object) who does not speak’ (3). Likewise I have written short pieces—outbursts, ripostes, manoeuvres—each less than six hundred words and connected by meditations on love as experienced by a fictional teacher towards a student. Questions include: How does love confront us? How does the emotional complexity of love, and of the loved Other, find voice in language? And how might this play out within the classroom? Barthes’ work is particularly relevant within this context as he explicitly addresses the self-aware romantic subject, and this in turn serves as metaphor for the self-aware author. I have experimented with structure, using Barthes’ text to structure my work as well as provide pivotal plot points. The idea for this piece was conceived in collaboration with Dr Catherine McKinnon, and is the first stage of an ongoing project concerned with the interplay of theory and creative writing within the context of A Lover’s Discourse.