Mythologies: The Complete Edition, in a New Translation

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Macmillan, 1972 - Literary Collections - 158 pages
2 Reviews

"[Mythologies] illustrates the beautiful generosity of Barthes's progressive interest in the meaning (his word is signification) of practically everything around him, not only the books and paintings of high art, but also the slogans, trivia, toys, food, and popular rituals (cruises, striptease, eating, wrestling matches) of contemporary life . . . For Barthes, words and objects have in common the organized capacity to say something; at the same time, since they are signs, words and objects have the bad faith always to appear natural to their consumer, as if what they say is eternal, true, necessary, instead of arbitrary, made, contingent. Mythologies finds Barthes revealing the fashioned systems of ideas that make it possible, for example, for 'Einstein's brain' to stand for, be the myth of, 'a genius so lacking in magic that one speaks about his thought as a functional labor analogous to the mechanical making of sausages.' Each of the little essays in this book wrenches a definition out of a common but constructed object, making the object speak its hidden, but ever-so-present, reservoir of manufactured sense."--Edward W. Said


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User Review  - David Gordon - Book Verdict

An abridged English translation of Mythologies (1957), one of Barthes's most famous books, has been available since 1972, but it omitted 25 of the original essays, included here. Overall, Barthes ... Read full review


User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

This new publication of French literary critic/philosopher Barthes's 1957 classic replaces the incomplete 1972 translation with a full-scale, authoritative rendering from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet ... Read full review

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translators note
The Romans in Films
The Poor and the Proletariat
The Brain of Einstein
NeitherNor Criticism
The Lost Continent
The Great Family of Man
Myth is a type of speechMyth as a semiological system
Reading and deciphering mythMyth as stolen language

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About the author (1972)

Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and the classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor at the College de France until his death in 1980.

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