By September 13, 2016Uncategorized

Wikipedia = NONE

(though this gets at one meaning:

From book “visual correspondences” (“correspondencias visuales”) p. 270 — where I originally came across this idea:

“Although the procedure of visual dialogue established by the Correspondences involves, in the first place, linguistic comparisons, the musical parallels are no less important. According to Facundo de Zuviría, the experience closest to these image sequences would be that musical improvisation which in the world of jazz is known as a “jam session”. Roland Barthes, in his book, How to Live Together, uses a musical metaphor in order to think up a happier and more harmonious model for living together. Idiorrhythmia: a common space which is capable of including each individual’s personal rhythm.



self-regulating — used of (1) monks that live separately, hold property, work individually in supporting themselves, and though members of a monastery supervised by an elected council are not under direct daily supervision or (2) of monasteries so organized

self-regulating; allowing each member to regulate his or her own life

(of an institution) allowing each member to regulate his or her own life

following the pattern of one’s own life: monastic communities, especially on Mount Athos, where the monks pursue separate lives, meeting for offices and perhaps for communal meals on great feast days.


Idiorrhythmic monasticism [WIKIPEDIA]

Idiorrhythmic monasticism is a form of monastic life in Christianity.

It was the original form of monastic life in Christianity, as exemplified by St. Anthony of Egypt (c. 250–355) and is the opposite of cenobitic monasticism in that instead of communal ownership, the monk lives alone, often in isolation. Philosophically it consisted of a total withdrawal from society, normally in the desert, and the constant practice of mental prayer. The word Idiorrhythmic comes from two Greek words idios, “particular” and rhythmos, “rule” meaning “following one’s own devices,”

It was first developed by St. Anthony of Egypt (c. 250–355) and today is only known to be practiced in Mount Athos, Greece.


Roland Barthes — How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces

…[Barthes] spoke of his struggle to discover a different way of writing and a new approach to life.…[in a] series of lectures exploring solitude and the degree of contact necessary for individuals to exist and create at their own pace.

…a key introduction to Barthes’s pedagogical methods and critical worldview.

How to Live Together is a key introduction to Barthes’s pedagogical methods and critical worldview. In this work, Barthes focuses on the concept of “idiorrhythmy,” a productive form of living together in which one recognizes and respects the individual rhythms of the other. He explores this phenomenon through five texts that represent different living spaces and their associated ways of life: Émile Zola’s Pot-Bouille, set in a Parisian apartment building; Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, which takes place in a sanatorium; André Gide’s La Séquestrée de Poitiers, based on the true story of a woman confined to her bedroom; Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, about a castaway on a remote island; and Pallidius’s Lausiac History, detailing the ascetic lives of the desert fathers.

As with his previous lecture books, How to Live Together exemplifies Barthes’s singular approach to teaching, in which he invites his audience to investigate with him–or for him–and wholly incorporates his listeners into his discoveries. Rich with playful observations and suggestive prose, How to Live Together orients English-speaking readers to the full power of Barthes’s intellectual adventures.


[excerpts from papers / essays / etc. found via online search for the term

…His first year lecture course, devoted to the theme of “How to Live Together,” ended on a strong note of disenchantment vis-a-vis all major forms of cohabitation. Only one model managed to survive: the Utopian fantasy of idiorrhythmy, a concept he had discovered while reading Jacques Lacarriere’s L’Ete grec. Borrowed from the Greek orthodox monastic vocabulary, idiorrhythmy refers to the distinctive organization of monks, who, while administratively attached to a monastery, live alone, separated from their brothers. Its principle consists in allowing each member of the community to live freely according to his own rhythm. The word and the concept of idiorrhythmy seem to have instantly crystallized one of Barthes’s deepest fantasies, that of a collectivity that would not infringe on individual distance. Unfortunately, Barthes did not fully develop the social and political implications such an archaic and Utopian form of living-together had for him. …

…Barthes was one of the first people to mention that ‘there is an inextricable link between power and rhythm. What power imposes in the first place is a rhythm (rhythm of everything – life, time, thought, discourse)’. In this lecture Barthes gives a specific example of rhythmic liquidity without requiring an obligatory vertical. … the idea/purpose/underlying idea of these communities was total individuation of their members. …

…seems to promise an overall preoccupation with shared concerns: questions of community and space. A certain fantasy is present here. … The fantasy that Barthes articulates in this lecture course is rooted in the word “idiorrythmie” or “idiorrhythm,” a word which, as he explains, he found when reading a study of the monks of Mount Athos by Jacques Lacarrière. Lacarrière describes the Athos monastic communities as being lightly-regulated; each monk lived at his own individual “rhythm” or pace. For Barthes, idiorrythmie means a fantasised form of living which manages to reconcile the problems of social living and of a life too lonely, balancing the needs for both companionship and solitude. The How to Live Together series is, says Barthes, a search for “idiorrythmie,” the ideal community. But we realise on closer examination of the course that Barthes is much more concerned with the position of the individual within the community than with the topos of community itself. Indeed, the recognised marginalism of groups which have an overt cause – communes, convents, phalansteries – is not of interest to Barthes, because the structure of these groups “is based on an architecture of power,” and so they are “openly hostile to idiorrythmy”. Every community, he concludes as the course goes on, ends up being to at least some extent sclerotised by dogma, whether it be religious or political. Concomitantly, every community brings about a reduction of individual nuance. …

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