Neither the figure nor things, but the offering made beside and through them.

the comings and goings of a child playing beside his mother, leaving her, returning to her with a pebble, a piece of string, and thereby tracing around a calm center a whole locus of play within which the pebble, the string come to matter less than the enthusiastic giving of them

—Roland Barthes, “Lecture in Inauguration of the Chair of Literary Semiology, Collège de France, January 7, 1977.”

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