Idleness. …typical feature (in relation to other retreats) of the Bienne retreat: its finality: to do nothing: “the precious far niente was the first and principal enjoyment I wanted to savor in all its sweetness, and all I did during my sojourn was in effect only the delicious and necessary pursuit of a man who has devoted himself to idleness.” (Rousseau) Therefore, let’s underscore: no books, no writing desk: suspension of writing: replaced by a pacifying because bearing no responsibility activity: to collect plants: undertakes the flora petrinsularis: to describe all the plants on the island; focuses above all on the sexuality of the plants. Roughly: idleness in relation to the “specialization” of the intellectual: pleasure in substituting an irenic knowledge (perhaps obsessional: reification, inventory) for a battle of ideas + “ecological” postulation: agricultural work, exercise, appetite, etc., and above all: marginal, type of violon d’Ingres* (cf. myself and painting).

Roland Barthes, The Neutral, 139-40.

*The painter J.D. Ingres played the violin as a hobby, hence the French expression violon d’Ingres to designate a pastime.