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4.2 out of 5 stars
42
4.2 out of 5 stars
Mythologies (Vintage Classics)
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on 9 May 2015
Roland Barthes was one of the leading French intellectuals of the mid 20th Century. In the 1950s he wrote one short essay a month on mythology in contemporary life. Barthes completed a total of 54 of these works, however when a collection was published in English as ‘Mythologies’ only about 30 were present. The remaining essays can be found in ‘The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies’. Alternatively a complete set of essays is also available in ‘Mythologies: The Complete Edition in a New Translation’.

The author writes about many, varied subjects including wrestling, the Romans in films, steak and chips and striptease. His analysis of the semiology of these topics is often revealing and occasionally amusing. Despite his prose style being rather idiosyncratic and academic, in many instances the essays are still quite appealing to a general reader.

A longer essay, ‘Myth Today’, which describes his approach to signs and their meaning, completes this volume but it is much more academic. In it he uses the ideas of semiology developed by Ferdinand de Saussure which described the connections between an object (the signified) and its representation in language (the signifier) and how the two are connected. Within this framework Barthes shows that his concept of a myth is based on creating a further sign to which something has been added.
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on 6 December 2015
I read this book purely because of his ideas based on Saussure.
Saussure's contribution was to describe a sign as a [signifiant/signifie] doublet
Barthes realised that the process could be iterated - a sign ( that is a doublet ) could be a signifiant itself and then put himself to wonder describe what the corresponding signfie was - he comes up with a 'myth'
Clearly anyone interested in computablity/math and linguistics should read this book
What Barthes does NOTdo is then say that a myth could be a signfiant in a doublet - that is to iterate it a second time - and wonder what the result is. The reader can - the ideas are treated in Tom Koch, Cartographies of Disease
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on 30 March 2016
helpful for my animation studies. It provided a foundation in terms of Barthe what a myth is and how they evolve over time. I found this particularity interesting but for the avid reader i wouldn't say this is a quick read. People who like philosophy and have an interest in works of Plato and Hume should spark some interest!
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on 4 February 2010
Roland Barthes is a key figure in international intellectual life. He is one of the most important intellectual figures to have emerged in postwar France and his writings continue to have an influence on critical debates today

Mythologies is a text which contains short journalistic articles on a variety of subjects that focus on various manifestations of mass culture, la culture de masse: films, advertizing, newspapers and magazines, photographs, cars, children's toys, popular pastimes and so on.

I'd recommend this to anyone who is studing Media, or Photography as am I. The text is highly informative.
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on 7 July 2010
This book is an edition of Jonathan Cape's 1972 translation from Roland Barthes's book originally published in 1957.

The body of the book is short bites of stimulating thoughts - usually around 3-4 pages - about popular culture items such as 'novels and children', 'toys', 'wine and milk', 'striptease', etc.

The volume ends on a 50-page development on the nature of myths, discussed in terms of semiology, which is most interesting.

One should keep in mind that this book is a selected translation, and not integral.
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on 16 August 2015
Bought for my university course, a fantastic book with barthes most famous essays included.

although I have been using the essays online I preferred my own version where I could write in the margins etc. I found I had a great interest in the essays and began a more in-depth study of them through this book.

Book was as described and in perfect condition
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on 3 June 2017
Great edition and lovely individual essays inside. The book also studies myths as semiotic structures and the best essay inside it is the "Myth Today" one by far.
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on 12 September 2017
Absolute classic. Everyone should read it.
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on 23 October 2016
Ideal for my English Literature studies at Master level.
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on 5 June 2015
All good condition and mid reading
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