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

Carrie Watterson

Barthes claims that Sarrasine desires castration in placing him on the passive pole of the axis of castration. His castrations within the text are multiple, culminating in the physical castration of death. Yet, this desire for castration already compromises Barthes' claim of passivity, and a close reading of Sarrasine will reveal that Sarrasine is "both active and passive by turns." (S/Z, 91).

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