I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
-Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The passé simple and the third person in the Novel are nothing but the fateful gesture by which the writer points to the mask he is wearing. The whole of literature can say ‘Larvatus Prodeo,” “I advance while pointing to my mask.”
- Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero, 1967