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Mythologies (1957)

by Roland Barthes

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3,718262,563 (4.03)46
"This new edition of MYTHOLOGIES is the first complete, authoritative English version of the French classic, Roland Barthes's most emblematic work"--

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» See also 46 mentions

English (22)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I can't but marvel at Barthes's talent as a critical thinker, and there are a handful of short articles in this book that really sparked my intellectual senses. At the same time, reading books like this one reminds me why I didn't pursue further efforts in criticism. After a few essays, it's starts to get tiresome and even irritating having everything dissected--usually to point out the negativity in everything. In my days of applying literary theory and other critical lenses to different subjects, you eventually find that you can't really sit down and enjoy anything, be it a book, movie, shopping trip, travel, etc., because you're so busy wanting to point out all the flaws and patterns that seemingly no one else sees. ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
A sort of 1960's George Monbiot.

Barthes has some pretty interesting ideas; particularly, if one considers that these pieces were written in the 1950's. The language is a little forced and flowery but, that may be because I am reading this in translation. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Dec 15, 2020 |
I wonder sometimes what it must be like to have been born before the simulacrum became a matter of fact, instead of 1985. What was it like to read Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, or Guy Debord before Ronald Reagan became president, Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor and the world was recreated in a manmade archipelago off the coast of Dubai? I have no idea. Roland Barthes is a tremendous writer but this book feels too precious, too quaint; serious conversations about the petite bourgeoise just feel so antiquated in the 21st century. I read it and think "How romantic!" "How French!" "That's nice!" My sympathies to the author, he had no way of knowing it would get this weird. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
Split into two sections, Barthes first examines a series of modern day (at time of writing) 'mythologies' - or socially-constructed 'fables' which blur symbols with our sense of 'what is'. The second section looks in more depth about how these mythologies are constructed generally, and how we might be able to study them more formally.

The first section was interesting, but I was definitely wanting more structure by the end of if. The second section needs some brain space to follow, but does ultimately make a great job of introducing such a structure.

Taken together, this is a really important book when considering how to assess the messages constructed and thrown around every day, from media to advertising to politics and elsewhere. Recommended. ( )
  6loss | Nov 7, 2019 |
The first part of Mythologies is a collection of short individual pieces written by Barthes on the semiology - the underlying symbolism and meaning, of a selection of commonplace phenenomena of contemporary society in the 1950s.
What Barthes reads into things is frequently amusing and often enlightening. The reason that the book is entitled "Mythologies" is that he aims to expose the modern myths and demystify the symbolism of contemporary mass culture. Sometimes the targets of his pieces come off worse than others, and on the whole this provides an interesting sociological insight on things, and sometimes even scope for some philosophical reflection.
Whether the topic is Wrestling, Margarine, the latest Citroen model, French attitudes to Wine, Soap powders, Steak and Chips, or the Brain of Einstein, they are made consistently interesting topics and analysed intellegently and concisely. Many of the pieces just a couple of pages long.
The last third of the book ties up a number of themes and provides a more over-arching perspective on the modern mythologies and their semiological analysis. This is a lot denser than the individual pieces and often lacks their clarity, but does provide a vaguely useful theoretical framework for the understanding of semiology.
He presents mythology as a category of language that has a specific semiological meaning, that has a second layer of meaning compared to the first order meanings found in ordinary language and word. This expands the usage of the term mythology beyond its traditional meaning, but this makes sense in the way that the word is used currently in phrases such as "urban myths", which are analagous to the cultural myths presented in the first section - though they are not usually identified as such. Gives a new way of looking at popular culture. ( )
2 vote P_S_Patrick | Mar 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Pour ces chroniques, succès durable ­depuis cinquante-trois ans, Roland Barthes partait tout simplement d'images de la vie quotidienne ou d'articles de presse, dont certains publiés dans Le Figaro. Ainsi est venue l'idée d'une réédition sous forme d'album des Mythologies, contenant 120 illustrations. Loin de l'austère «Point» Seuil, l'album se regarde autant qu'il se lit. Jacqueline Guittard, maître de conférence à l'université Picardie-Jules Verne, qui a établi la nouvelle édition, a choisi des documents authentiques, essayant parfois de deviner ceux que Roland Barthes avait eus sous les yeux et qui avaient pu déclencher sa réflexion.
added by NeueWelle | editLe Figaro, Claire Bommelaer (Oct 15, 2010)

» Add other authors (94 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barthes, Rolandprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Badmington, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
秀夫, 篠沢Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fulka, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lavers, AnnetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Madžule, SarmīteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheffel, HelmutTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Paladin (586 08164 X)
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The grandiloquent truth of gestures on life's great occasions.
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The virtue of all-in wrestling is that it is the spectacle of excess.
I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.
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"This new edition of MYTHOLOGIES is the first complete, authoritative English version of the French classic, Roland Barthes's most emblematic work"--

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