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In linguistic terms, one might say that the figures are distributional but not integrative; they always remain on the same level: the lover speaks in bundles of sentences but does not integrate these sentences on a higher level, into a work; his is a horizontal discourse: no transcendence, no deliverance, no novel (though a great deal of the fictive). Every amorous episode can be, of course, endowed with a meaning: it is generated, develops, and dies; it follows a path which it is always possible to interpret according to a causality or a finality - even, if need be, which can be moralized ("I was out of my mind, I'm over it now" "Love is a trap which must be avoided from now on" etc.): this is the love story, subjugated to the great narrative Other, to that general opinion which disparages any excessive force and wants the subject himself to reduce the great imaginary current, the orderless, endless stream which is passing through him, to a painful, morbid crisis of which he must be cured, which he must "get over" ("It develops, grows, causes suffering, and passes away" in the fasion of some Hippocratic disease): the love story (the "episode," the "adventure") is the tribute the lover must pay to the world in order to be reconciled with it.
- Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse