I realise, rereading that essay [on Paul Nizan] how important Sartre has been for me. He is the model – that abundance, that lucidity, that knowingness. And the bad taste.
Greatest influence on Barthes: reading Bachelard (Psychoanalysis of Fire – then books on earth, air and water), second Mauss, structural ethnology and of course, Hegel, Husserl. The discovery of the phenomenological p-o-v. Then you can look at anything and it will yield up fresh idea. Anything: a doorknob, Garbo. Imagine having such a mind as Barthes has – that always works … But Blanchot really started it.
Susan Sontag: Diaries 1964-1980: As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh