‘What disturbs me is not the noise but the banality of conversation (if he at least talked in some language unknown to me, and a musical one!)’
Barthes writes of times when you overhear people and wish it was another language. So you would be able to not listen. But your own speech turns the back on you, forces you to recognise words, the brain complies. You can’t help it. You can’t concentrate. At this point is far better if they talk with some wit and knowledge, it might be even worth it. Or else you get imprisoned by trivial facts. How frustrating that is? Most mundane thoughts with such power over your consciousness.
Is a foreign language like music then? And music like a foreign language?