I am caught in this contradiction: on the one hand, I believe I know the other better than anyone and triumphantly assert my knowledge to the other (‘I know you-I’m the only one who really knows you!’); and on the other hand, I am often struck by the obvious fact that the other is impenetrable, intractable, not to be found; I cannot open up the other, trace back the other’s origins, solve the riddle. Where does the other come from? Who is the other? I wear myself out, I shall never know.
— Roland Barthes, from ‘A Lover’s Discourse’