7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
why some reviewers hate this book,
This review is from: Mythologies (Paperback)
This book is a founding gesture in the history of semiotics. It carries a clear and precise recontextualization of Hjelmslev's theory of language (in the concluding section 'myth today'), one amplified and developed in Barthes' later "Elements of Semiotics". This subsequently became immensely important for social theory (and sociology in particular). It is a stage in Barthes' gradual move to a position that escapes Levi-Strauss' "underlying model" of structure, a transition that culminated in his extraordinary masterpiece "S/Z".
The idea is to begin the work of taking apart the self-evidence of everyday understanding (as produced by "democratized", mediatized and commercial interests) but using Hjelmslev's (as such a radical critique of Saussure) techniques rather than merely phenomenological ones. It is hardly surprising that some reviewers find this offensive: it is meant to be, to all those self-certainties they treasure.