Roland Barthes’ “The Face of Garbo”

French writer Roland Barthes’ magnificent short essay, “The Face of Garbo,” begins with a hint of melancholy. 

“Garbo still belongs to that moment in cinema when capturing the human face still plunged audiences into the deepest ecstasy, when one literally lost oneself in a human image as one would in a philtre, when the face represented a kind of absolute state of the flesh, which could be neither reached nor renounced.” (Roland Barthes, Mythologies).

Indeed, Greta Garbo was, and continues to be, a source of intrigue for those allured by her inarguable beauty.  In a time when so many public figures strive to be noticed, whether for good or bad, it is refreshing to think that Garbo desired privacy.  Barthes’ essay conjures a beautiful understanding of Garbo, the woman whom we cannot help but be attracted to.

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One comment

  1. MUY INTERESANTE AMIGOS. NO TENIA IDEA DE ESTE TRABAJO DE BARTHES. SALUDOS Y SUERTE MANON KUBLER

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