“No denunciation without its proper instrument of close analysis,” Roland Barthes wrote in his preface to Mythologies. There is no more proper instrument of analysis of our contemporary myths than this book—one of the most significant works in French theory, and one that has transformed the way readers and philosophers view the world around them.
Our age is a triumph of codification. We own devices that bring the world to the command of our fingertips. We have access to boundless information and prodigious quantities of stuff. We decide to like or not, to believe or not, to buy or not. We pick and choose. We think we are free. Yet all around us, in pop culture, politics, mainstream media, and advertising, there are codes and symbols that govern our choices. They are the fabrications of consumer society. They express myths of success, well-being, or happiness. As Barthes sees it, these myths must be carefully deciphered, and debunked.
What Barthes discerned in mass media, the fashion of plastic, and the politics of postcolonial France applies with equal force to today’s social networks, the iPhone, and the images of 9/11. This new edition of Mythologies, complete and beautifully rendered by the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, critic, and translator Richard Howard, is a consecration of Barthes’s classic—a lesson in clairvoyance that is more relevant now than ever.
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This new edition brings into English for the first time all of the essays in the groundbreaking Mythologies by French semiotician and critic Barthes, translated by the redoubtable Howard (Flowers of EJan 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Mythologies
Barthesâs classic tome on symbolismâan essential text in cultural studiesâis given fresh life with a new translation from Richard Howard and Annette Lavers and this audio edition. Exploring how films,May 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Mythologies
This new edition brings into English for the first time all of the essays in the groundbreaking Mythologies by French semiotician and critic Barthes, translated by the redoubtable Howard (Flowers of Evil), and joins them with Laversâs earlier translation of Barthesâs accompanying analytical e...Jan 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Mythologies
In “The Tour de France as Epic,” Barthes describes the Tour as an epic battle “with only four movements: to lead, to follow, to escape, to collapse.” “To collapse,” he argues, “prefigures abandon, it is always horrifying and saddens the public like a disaster: on Mont Ventoux, certain collapses h...Jul 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Mythologies
Barthes relates this to his subject, myth, in this way: "It can be seen that in myth there are two semiological systems, one of which is staggered in relation to the other: a linguistic system, the language (or the modes of representation which are assimilated to it), which I shall call the langu...Dec 11 2015 | Read Full Review of Mythologies
Finally, Martine Joly positions Barthesâs study within 1950s French research on myth and reflects on recent and, she argues, futile attempts to repeat its success, while Graham Allen discusses Mythologies with regard to the development of Cultural Studies and contemporary university micromanage...| Read Full Review of Mythologies