A place in south West of France


Roland Barthes. The light of the Southwest.

The writer describes a great way béarnaise the region where it originated:

“My second Southwest is not a region, it is only a line, path experiences. When coming from Paris by car (I made this trip a thousand times), I Angoulême exceeds a signal warns me as I crossed the threshold of the house and I go into the land of my childhood: pine grove on the side, a palm tree in the yard of a house, some cloud height which gives the land mobility of a face. Begins the great light of the Southwest, noble and subtle all at once, never gray, never low (even when the sun does not shine) is a light-space, defined less by the colors it affects things (as in the other noon) and the quality eminently habitable it gives to the earth. I find no other way to say it is a bright light. You must see this light (I would almost say: hear, as it is musical) in the fall, which is the season sovereign of that country; liquid, radiant, heart-wrenching as it is the last beautiful light year, illuminating everything in its difference (South-West is the land of micro-climates), it preserves this country vulgarity of any gregariousness, making it unsuitable for tourism easy (…). “

Extract appeared in the humanity of 10 September 1977. Read the entire article.