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მითოლოგიები

როლან ბარტი (1915-1980) - ფრანგი სემიოლოგი, კრიტიკოსი, ესეისტი. შემოქმედებითი მოღვაწეობის დიდი ნაწილი მან მითის ცნებას მიუძღვნა და შექმნა სახელგანთქმული ნაწარმოები „მითოლოგიები“, სადაც იუმორით შეზავებულ მეცნიერულ ანალიზს უკეთებს მეოცე საუკუნეში საზოგადოებაში გაბატონებულ მითებს.მითი სიტყვაა, რომელიც მასალად იყენებს ენას, ფოტოს, ნახატს, აფიშას, რიტუალს, ნივთს და სხვ.; მითი კროლან ბარტი (1915-1980) - ფრანგი სემიოლოგი, კრიტიკოსი, ესეისტი. შემოქმედებითი მოღვაწეობის დიდი ნაწილი მან მითის ცნებას მიუძღვნა და შექმნა სახელგანთქმული ნაწარმოები „მითოლოგიები“, სადაც იუმორით შეზავებულ მეცნიერულ ანალიზს უკეთებს მეოცე საუკუნეში საზოგადოებაში გაბატონებულ მითებს.მითი სიტყვაა, რომელიც მასალად იყენებს ენას, ფოტოს, ნახატს, აფიშას, რიტუალს, ნივთს და სხვ.; მითი კომუნიკაციის სისტემაა, ნიშნებისგან შედგება და გარკვეულ იდეას ატარებს, რითაც ძალიან უახლოვდება იდეოლოგიას, გვეუბნება ავტორი...

Title : მითოლოგიები
Author :
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ISBN : 9789941910395
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 236 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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მითოლოგიები Reviews

  • Riku Sayuj
    2018-12-26 10:28

    On Arranging My LibraryArranging a library is no easy task:I think Tolkien will be happy to share his spaceWith Virgil and Homer,In my Library.While I can feel the glare in my back as I stackNabokov next to that one copy of Dan Brown I own.Arranging a library is no easy task:To do so this seriously is almost to practiceIn an amateurish and private fashion,The art of literary criticism.And once that notion entered my library,My authors took to their relative positionsWith none of that dismissivenessThat they usually profess for the critics!Arranging a library is no easy task:For instance,Here are two patently great minds,Placed together in a corner;Each anxious and sensitive toHuman suffering, and quite lofty in thoughts.But as I leave them together,I can begin to hear them fidget:The noble Seneca not so comfy,With my postulation Of his neighborliness, with a mere entertainer such as Shakespeare.Arranging a library is no easy task:It takes much argument and much Angry venting.You can’t satisfy all these great minds.We hardly ever part on good terms, my books and I.

  • Trevor
    2018-12-28 08:36

    This was much more interesting than I expected it to be – and I could even go as far as to say some of it was quite fun. I mean fun in a relative sense, of course, as this is a text with quite some ‘resistance’ and so some of it was also quite hard to read. Most of the text is a series of short essays that discuss what the author refers to as ‘myths’. Now, these aren’t really the kinds of things that you might automatically associate with the word ‘myth’. There is a longish (longish for a book that isn’t even a couple of hundred pages) essay at the end of the book that works a bit like that old trick of philosophy where the definition is only provided at the end of an enquiry – Hegel says that is how things ought to be, no point defining the term your entire work is setting out to explain up front. The reader needs to make their way to the definition through the hard work of coming to understand.The short essays are a joy. The first one, ‘The World of Wrestling’ is particularly good. This is the only one I am doing to discuss as I want to get onto his philosophical points and wallowing in the glow from these essays (something all too easy to do) would distract from that and only involve me in retelling half as well what he has already done so well here.I’d never really thought about wrestling before – oddly, it has never really been something I’ve paid the least bit of attention to since I was about eight-years-old. As Barthes points out, you might consider betting on a boxing match, but no one would ever consider doing such a thing on the outcome of a wrestling match. The idea is not limited to the fact that wrestling matches are obviously ‘fixed’ – it is that the point of wrestling is a kind of drama, not really a sport. There is a nice line in this essay where Barthes compares the spectacle of suffering that wrestling always involves with the suffering of Christ. In the fight between good and evil, the good must invariably end up in some scissor-hold or half-Nelson or some such and then the crowd (also an essential part of the drama in a way that is no longer true in actual drama) are forced to witness the extremity of his suffering. It is this which makes the final victory of good over evil – the eventual ‘making him pay’ – redemptive.But this book is much more than just a kind of high criticism slumming it amongst the fripperies and ephemera of low culture. For Barthes myth is a kind of speech, as he explains in his final essay. In fact, this whole book is an application of Saussure to cultural signs – and this makes for fascinating reading. Saussure was a linguist and like all linguists he is not to be read in his original texts, but rather in commentaries and explanatory notes. It is, of course, one of the great unexplained mysteries of the universe that the greater the linguist the harder they are to read. The simple version of his ideas on language (about all I’ve ever been able to understand) is that there are three parts to language – there is the idea of whatever you are talking about, there is the word you use to talk about it and then there is those two things brought together. In Saussure’s language you have what is signified, what is use to signify it and finally the sign itself.Let’s take the idea of apple. An apple is a particular kind of fruit. That fruit is something that can be pointed to, and so on. That is, it is rich in content and has a ‘real’ life of its own – it is the signified. Then there is the word we use to describe that fruit. Apple in English, or mela in Italian, or pomme in French – the word used to signify the thing is arbitrary. This signifier is empty of meaning, but becomes full of meaning when it becomes a sign – a bringing together of the word and the concept of the thing the word points to.Barthes’ point is to do exactly the same thing with cultural signs. His most famous example is from the essay at the back where he describes the cover of a magazine with the photo of a young negro boy saluting. For Barthes this boy obviously has a rich and full life – spending a week living with this boy would give us quite a different view of what this photo ‘means’. However, it certainly does ‘mean’ something as it stands on its own, something much more than just ‘here’s some kid saluting’. The fact it is an Algerian child, that this was at a time when Algeria was seeking independence, that the child is ‘proudly’ performing a French salute all of these things mean and are the intended meanings of this sign. And this fits with Saussure’s view of the world too – with the boy becoming the signified and the image the signifier but the ideas this is to bring to mind the sign or what Barthes calls the signification. Barthes makes it clear that virtually everything you can say just about anything about in our society has this three level meaning. We have already mentioned apples as an example of linguistic meaning, but what about the cultural meaning of apples? And here we could go on for days, apples as the ultimate cause of Christ’s death, as the epitome of ‘fruit’ (of nature), but actually not ‘natural’ at all, only being able to be grown on grafted trees – therefore, cultivated. Or what of sayings like, ‘she is the apple of my eye’? Or the computer company, or the Beatles, or ‘A is for apple’, or an apple a day keeps the doctor away, or Johnny Appleseed . . . But even these are not the point that Barthes is making. His point is that bourgeois culture presents itself as if it is all culture and that in doing so it says no other culture exists. It makes itself eternal, but to do this it must first suck the life out of the objects it takes over. Bourgeois culture discusses things in metalanguage, and, ironically enough, this is how the mythologist must also discuss the products of bourgeois culture.Barthes makes a wonderful point when he says that people don’t talk about capitalist culture – because in appropriating culture, capitalism subsumes itself as if all culture is inevitably capitalist. In seeking to understand this culture we also learn to defend ourselves from the automatic assumptions it presents us with.I really enjoyed these essays – they were playful and intellectually challenging and had some remarkably insightful things to say about a huge range of subjects. Read the essays on ‘toys’ or ‘steak and chips’ or ‘The Great Family of Man’ to get an idea of the breadth of subjects covered. This is one of those books that makes you want to play with a concept in the same way that Barthes has, in the same way that reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets might make you want to write a sonnet of your own.And given the game he is playing is one in which we are forced to look again at how we are being manipulated, to look again at what is being presented to us as if it was ‘eternally true’ – such playful reappraisals of these myths is not just fun, but the essence of self-defence.

  • Tosh
    2019-01-18 05:34

    I am not a huge critical lit reader but there is something so enjoyable about Barthes' books or essays. I like the way he writes about an everyday object or subject matter - and just tears into it like a very curious scientist. "Mythologies" is one of his more well-known titles and rightfully so. Good writer and I think he's a great reader as well.

  • Ellen
    2019-01-09 05:26

    In high school, I used to attend the wrestling meets. I'm not sure why. I hated spectator sports, having endured a brief period of sullen cheerleading where I found myself unable to whip up a frenzy over first downs or sis-boom-bah on command.Among the high school wrestlers I watched, there were some who elicited greater and lesser degrees of sympathy or repugnance, while one--though otherwise an inarticulate hulk--was transformed on the mat into a figure of grace, performing pins swiftly and cleanly. Barthes' wrestlers comprise more explicit types, e.g., the bastard, the image of passivity, the image of conceit, the bitch, etc. Wrestling, in Barthes' view, becomes a starkly defined conflict, where virtues and vices as personified by the contestants, engage in a battle that is a virtual psychomachia. Barthes' world of wrestling, then, emerges as allegory in its purest, most elemental sense. Wrestling's landscape, drained of entity save the combatants, emerges as the opposite of mimesis. Here, time and causality recede into the background. For Barthes, wrestling, like biblical narrative, occurs on a horizon so blank, every gesture becomes a clear act of signification. The rapidly changing positions of the wrestlers splinter the narrative into thematic junctures, like a slide show where each frame of action, perfectly fused with meaning, replaces another.Our interpretation at these points of thematic juncture involves a movement into myth--as Barthes explains it--for we simultaneously generalize and impoverish the meaning of the action on the wrestling mat. Within the construct of myth we create for wrestling, there operates a coherent system of conduct, a sort of decorum of indecorum, where "foul play" becomes "legitimitized," but the "absence of punishment" (29), the rupture of the tit-for-tat balance, is taboo.Wrestling, Barthes proposes, provides intense satisfaction for its audience, where for once there is "an ideal understanding of things; ...the panoramic view of a univocal Nature, in which signs at last correspond to causes, without obstacle, without evasion, without contradiction" (29). In this essay, like the others Barthes presents in this collection, he emerges for me as the sharpest and most provocative of those writing on semiotics and structuralism.

  • Roz Foster
    2019-01-15 03:36

    Mythologies (1957) was recommended to me as a must-read for brand builders. Who better (or more fun) to read when boning up on brand strategy and semiotics than Roland Barthes? Each of Barthes’s very brief and highly entertaining essays demonstrates his point of view and method as a mythologist--a sarcastic bastard with the insight to look a hole right through you.According to Barthes, a mythologist is (not just an irreverent, cultural jester, but) an individual who recognizes a cultural myth, separates its components, analyzes their workings and, thereby, reveals a myth’s distortions. In Mythologies Barthes spots myths in consumer culture--the presented meaning of a story in a newspaper, the manifest message of an ad. Barthes takes just a few pages to deconstruct the overt message of each of his myths by showing a deeper distortion: a latent meaning. The comparison between the overt and latent calls both out as distortions and illuminates the mechanism for making meaning.Take “The Writer on Holiday” for example. Barthes spots a feature in Le Figaro (a French newspaper) on Andre Gide (a writer who, apparently, wrote on how to fully be oneself) reading Bossuet (a theologian and bishop under Louis XIV who, it seems, argued that God attributed divinity to kings). Gide reads Bossuet floating down the Congo on holiday. Barthes frames this instance as a representation of all writers on holiday. He asserts that Le Figaro intends this image to “surprise and delight” its proletarian readers. The overt myth is that writers are workers, too, workers who need a holiday—like “shop assistants and factory workers” (30). But then Barthes asks: why is this so delightfully surprising? It’s because the latent message, its deeper meaning, is that a writer is so obviously not a wage worker who needs a holiday. Barthes says that the attempt that Le Figaro makes at mythologizing the writer as worker only points all the more to the cultural belief, the mystification, the myth, that the writer is not like the reader at all, but is, in fact, a godhead. The newspaper is not demystifying the writer’s divine qualities and bringing the writer down to the earthly plane as the overt message appears to be doing; the message is, in fact, performing the opposite task. Barthes writes, “By having holidays, [the writer] displays the sign of his being human; but the god remains, one is a writer as Louis XIV was king, even on the commode” (30).There are twenty-seven other little essays just as rich (and hilarious) in Mythologies, such as “Novels and Children,” in which he mocks the magazine Elle for asserting that women authors may produce one novel per child, and “Plastic,” in which he momentarily raises the ubiquitous substance up as a tangible and elegant trace of the movement of infinity.Barthes’s closing essay, in which he explains his approach, is far less entertaining. But his reiteration of the Saussurean linguistic split between signifier and signified and his graduating that model into his own diagrammatical explanation for myth is so modest, clear and concise it had me wondering if Barthes’s hand had, in fact, been imbued with divinity. In a remarkably brief fifty pages, he empowers us to push aside the distortions of consumer culture and to create our own, with the absurd delight of knowing that those we create may be just as fictional--and just as powerful. In the end, the joy, humor and enthusiasm of Barthes’s critical art fades, a myth pushed aside. He suddenly paints the mythologist in melancholy tones. His sign-off leaves the reader to envision Barthes himself in the role of the isolated and acerbic visionary, an alienated critic split off from the inhabitants of his social world who believe in the myths he cannot.(The man probably just needed a vacation.)

  • Khashayar Mohammadi
    2018-12-28 06:28

    I feel this book would have had a much stronger effect on me, if I was somewhat acquainted with the bulk of its subject matter. Since the majority of the chapters centered around prominent figures in French popular culture of the 1950s, the utter lack of information on such subjects by the modern reader thoroughly undermines any criticism; BUT, put in the context of its times, its a remarkable book which is still shockingly relevant

  • David
    2018-12-26 06:30

    Barthes' most famous contribution to the semiotics school of structuralism, post-structuralism: though not his most-read according to GoodReads (an accolade reserved for Camera Lucida). While I love all of the Barthes that I have read, I think this should be required reading somewhere (the first part, anyway). Barthes is brilliant; his eyes seem always turned to the world as it is, and yet remain mindful of the world as it seems: that is the premise of Mythologies. Intentionally or unintentionally, everything we observe has a meaning and a counter-meaning, which change and reverse roles based on the society which views them. The actor's casual headshot: symbolic of his 'everyman'-ness, or rather his apotheosis above every man? The Tour de France: a meritorious battle of bikes, or rather the stock-puppet sitcom-drama of bikers' personalities? Toys: innocuous playthings, or instruments of class-shackling and occupational pre-fitting? Drinking wine: a symbol of French national, equalizing pride, or an instrument of expropriation from French capitalists over the Algerian farmers? These are the kinds of dualities which Barthes discusses in his Mythologies (so well written and well argued you may not even remember you bought it hoping for a sultry summation of Leda and her cygnus-seducer. No grey-eyed goddesses or illustrious Joves here, save the moonfaced Greta Garbo or the Romanesque Marlon Brando)I have not viewed the world with the same naive glaze since reading Barthes' Mythologies, and whether it has caused me to overthink is debatable, but it has forced me to think more critically about the world of messages around me. Not just the message-laden world of advertisements, of which I was already dubious, but also of objects, cult-classics movie posters, favorite-books, cover-art, newspaper articles from The Wall Street Journal to The New Yorker to Home & Garden and Men's Fitness, Food Network Magazine and so forth. For example, from Los Angeles Times, today:A city's unrealized ambitions in 'Never Built Los Angeles'The article describes a new, permanent exhibition of the passed-over projects of Los Angeles: the phantom freeways, the might-have-been monorails and suggested subways, the sky-scrapers of could-have-been and the plush potential parks. While the the exhibition and the article offer this alternative-history on display as a wistful reminder of the many potential Los Angeles-es that could have existed, there is a more sinister criticism of the mayoral governance that the city has had, which aborted the many better projects. The exhibition comes in stride with a new mayor, Eric Garcetti, and makes the political statement that the unhappy denizens of Los Angeles want more of these projects to be brought to fruition, not left unrealized on scraps of stock-paper.The exhibition is a sign. The signifier is the "never built Los Angeles" though the intended message is "should have been Los Angeles" - perhaps not wholly should have been, but at least in part. This signified message is in turn the signifier to the latent message of a sort of Marxist equalizer: that capitalism in cahoots with bureaucracy has bastardized the Los Angeles skyline, stunted its greatness, handicapped its potential. The signal is not of a great city, but of a Lost Paradise. While the message is that the past should educate the future, the ultimate message is that Los Angeles is a future foregone. Tossed tramways and abbreviated bikeways overshadow the ill-concieved and rightfully miscarried monstrosities averted. The remote past, and more significantly the unchosen past has simultaneously the luring life of the future and the death of the past. Instead of being a pivot for the city's projection, the exhibition serves instead as a tombstone.Now, I'm not as brilliant as Barthes, and I am not well-informed in the culture of Los Angeles, but that is the kind of though-process which Barthes utilizes in dissecting French culture. Mythologies is about digging in to every sign, asking what is this supposed to signify to me? what does it actually signify? It is a thought process which does not require genius, for as Barthes proclaims: "myth hides nothing: its function is to distort, not to make disappear. There is no latency of concept in relation to the form: there is no need of an unconscious in order to explain myth." The world is populated with distorted messages, it is our responsibility as readers, thinkers, participants in our cultures to reconstitute the messages which reach us in distortion, not to let it lead us into complacency.tautology dispenses us from having ideas, but at the same time prides itself on making this license into a stern morality; whence its success: laziness is promoted to the rank of rigor.We must not be slaves to our own laziness, but rather discover the truth about us: we must uncover with a vigor. For myth is a sly mischief-maker, it masquerades as truth, as the obvious and the assumed. Myths are like puns: they have different meanings to the casual auditory observer and the close reader:No, syntax, vocabulary, most of the elementary, analytical materials of language blindly seek one another without ever meeting, but no one pays the slightest attention: Etes-vous allé au pont? --Allée? Il n'y a pas d'allée, je le sais, j'y suis été.

  • Melissa Rudder
    2019-01-14 09:29

    I only had to read half of Roland Barthes' Mythologies for my Critical Theory class, but I was so engrossed that I set aside George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones (you'll understand how impressive that is if I ever get to that review) and spent a day of my spring break reading the whole thing. In Mythologies, Barthes, a theorist I previously (and less amiably) met during my Media and Rhetoric class, does a semiotic reading of different aspects of society in order to identify the ideological beliefs that support them. Thus "mythology" is mode of communication that signifies what supposedly goes without saying in society, the language that makes unrealistic "truths" seem natural. It doesn't sound entertaining, but it is. Barthes concludes his preface with the declaration, "What I claim is to live to the full the contradiction of my time, which may well make sarcasm the condition of truth." And boy is he sarcastic. And witty. And insightful. I found myself reading his little essays and scrawling "Yes!" in the margins (because "OMG! This guy is right on! Hahaha!" took too long to write). The book's design make it a quick and lively read. Each month, between 1954 and 1956, Barthes wrote one essay about the myths of French society. The essays are rarely over three pages, but packed with analytical might, clever criticisms, and compelling calls to action. Even though the book is a study of French society in the fifties, it still is so pertinent today. My favorite chapters were "The World of Wrestling," "The Writer on Holiday," "Blind and Dumb Criticism," "Novels and Children," and "Striptease." Yes, this internationally acclaimed theorist wrote essays on strippers and WWF-style wrestling. So. Entertaining.I highly recommend Barthes' Mythologies. Not only is it intelligent and entertaining, but it will affect how you view the world. Without realizing it, you'll be walking through the mall writing mythologies of your own. (I wrote one on Starbucks.)

  • Nhu Khue
    2019-01-18 09:46

    Không nên buồn một lúc. Cũng không nên vui một lúc. Sự một lúc giết chết mọi suy nghĩ cần có. Đi ra ngoài “một lúc” là một vùng rỗng, một nửa là ham muốn tiến lên, một nửa là khát khao quay lại để sửa sai, bao cái vùng rỗng ấy lại là nỗi thèm thuồng được yên vị.Muốn sống chậm trước hết phải hiểu rất nhiều chuyện. Không phải cứ vô tư, cứ phớt lờ những điều quá quen hoặc quá phức tạp, cứ làm những điều đáng yêu, cứ bình thản, không nổi nóng là có thể chậm lại. Chuyện này khó quá thể, nhể!Vậy nên Những huyền thoại Roland Barthes đích thị là "cẩm nang" cho những người muốn sống chậm, muốn an yên. Khi có thể giải phóng bản thân khỏi những hân hoan quá vốn dĩ, hiểu được tâm lý thân quen của con người giữa những hiện tượng lạ nhưng gốc rễ cũ kĩ, khi đó con người mới không bị sốc bởi tốc độ của sự "một lúc".Một bữa vui (buồn) có khả năng tàn sát không kém Một bữa no của Nam Cao.

  • J.I.
    2018-12-30 10:48

    Oh enjoy the 3 page observations of myth in modern society. Relish how surprisingly difficult they can be to understand, but yet have something marvelous to ponder. Soon you will get to the second half, the essay "Myth Today," and it will hurt your brain reeeeeeal good. Barthes examines the power of myth, why it is so harmful, and how it works semiotically. The last 60 pages took me 5 hours to read but it was so insightful I sat struck when I had put the book down. This is not easy reading and it's not particularly fun reading, even if you are a word nerd, but it is brilliant and WORTH reading.

  • فهد الفهد
    2019-01-17 10:38

    أسطوريات رولان بارت لا يقرأ إلا باللغة التي كتب بها، للحقيقة لم أستطع إكمال الكتاب، كانت هناك فجوات كبيرة لا يسهل ردمها، رغم موضوعات مقالاته الجذابة جداً.

  • Bryant
    2019-01-08 08:37

    My advice is to read this book backwards. Some of the short essays, including "Wine and Milk," "Steak and Chips," "The Blue Guide," and "The Lost Continent," are exemplary demonstrations of the ideas laid out in the long essay, "Myth Today," that concludes the book. There Barthes argues for a dense handful of concepts related to the signifier and the signified, noting especially the extent to which mythology tries to depict things properly categorized as "historical" in a manner that we might call "natural." For instance, the image of Uncle Sam, signifying an appeal to patriotic fealty firmly rooted in history, adopts the trope of "uncle" to make the historical enterprise in question--the US government--appear as natural as a family relation. I was reading the final essay in an airport, and the thought occurred to me that the Dept. of Homeland Security employs another aspect of Barthes' mythology in its use of "Threat Level ORANGE" or "Threat Level YELLOW." A historical thing that ultimately defies metrics--the threat posed to our country by terrorists--is nevertheless rendered "natural" by assigning it a color from nature. Further examples abound, and as the two above examples show, Barthes' final essay in this volume makes for stimulating reading when mapped onto political landscapes. Yet the lack of specificity and the abundance of abstraction in the final essay recommend its being read first, before the short essays that precede it in the volume. They supplement, fill out, and exemplify the abstractions set forth in the final essay.

  • flannery
    2019-01-19 10:33

    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.

  • Hadrian
    2019-01-16 04:30

    Brand new translation! This edition is in two parts - the first being a series of some fifty or so short essays on certain events or things, and their symbolic/semiotic meanings. Everything from wrestling to Greta Garbo to margarine to a populist conservative who supported Vichy France and reminds me of the fringes of the Tea Party.My favorites are the essays on Wrestling - it is a story, more so than a physical competition, and Toys - which directly shape a child's occupations and thoughts. Even magazine articles, steak, and anti-masturbation campaigns have a signified depth. Barthes is both entertaining and very informative. The end of the book is a longish essay, "Myth Today". This is a founding text of semiotics and structural analysis. It first goes into detail on the definition of 'myths', the deeper meanings behind objects, and offers some examples, (as seen earlier) and applies them directly to political dialogues of both left and right, and the symbols they use to attract or seduce adherents. A very interesting book, carrying a lot more than its small size would imply.

  • Swrang Varma
    2018-12-27 08:30

    The Bordeaux wine you just enjoyed is infected with cultural and historical meaning, and the meaning that you really should be aware of is withheld by petit-bourgeois imposition of a 'natural' meaning. I mean, the wine still tastes great but it did still involve uncompensated land expropriation from Algerians. This, and many others. Wrestling, strippers, toys, legalese, Elle Magazine, not much is spared. Barthes takes many of the favourite things from your childhood and pathetic daily routine full of false-consciousness and takes a massive dump on them in the most serene way possible. To me, the book really is an exercise in production of intellectual analyses as Barthes would in as much as it is a last dying revolt against 'being amongst the sheep, but not actively being the sheep'. Barthes still feels a little quaint in an age where it would take a world leader to take an actual dump in a G8 Summit to wake us up, but now my mind wanders. Funny, but not quite.

  • Jason
    2019-01-21 05:23

    a wonderful book...although it didn't end up going where i thought it would...barthes envisions the process of myth as a pernicious tool of the dominant power structure for the covert distortion of history...his analysis centers on the notion that myth is used in the modern world to 'naturalize' concepts that the bourgeois power base wants the masses to believe 'go without saying' or are seemingly essential parts of human existence...i'd never really thought of myth in this light...barthes argument is convincing and for the most part is very clear and well articulated, but there were a few passages that were highly convoluted and even after multiple readings i couldn't decipher what it is he was trying to say....thankfully these instances weren't all that common and barthes' habit of recapitulating his point fairly frequently goes a long way to assisting an eventual understanding...i thought his notion of the semiologic chain was brilliant...that myth is a two part structure that uses the third element of a sign in language as the first element in a mythic sign...this structure seems to me to be very elegant and capacious enough to cover many other manipulative language processes as well...an excellent book...well worth anyone's time...

  • Dhanaraj Rajan
    2018-12-30 06:26

    A wonderful collection of essays in which Barthes as a mythologist searches behind and reveals the meanings hidden in the modern 'myths'(myth as a semiological concept). He takes the ordinary examples and then begins analyzing it. Only then you realize that the ordinary thing (eg: advertisement for the detergent powder) itself was a myth which when excavated reveals much. For example He does a psycho analytic study of the advertisement of detergent powders among many other things. There are few essays that directly reflect the French set up and it might not make much sense for those who are not aware of the issue talked in the essays. But most of the essays are universal and they are the 'must read essays' for everyone. Specially the essays that talk about Wrestling, Detergent Powder, Toys, Chips, Wine, Astrology (This can blow you off), Plastic and Striptease.At the end there is an elaborate essay on the concept of Myth (title of the essay is MYTH TODAY). In fact a new reader should read this essay first and then should delve into the other essays. Or else many technical words will mean nothing or still worse will mean something else for him/her.

  • Hans
    2019-01-22 09:38

    Had high expectations for this book and it didn't deliver. I've read far more fascinating treatises on Mythologies and the modern applications from Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and shoot even Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore. While I did find some of the concepts in this book entertaining nothing really "wowed' me. In fact to show you how much it impressed me my favorite part was when the author talks about the "Mythology of French Professional Wrestling" (The French equivalent of American WWE) and how it is essentially a Theatrical Play on Morality with each of the combatants symbolizing different moral principles. Their scripted combat then arousing in the public sympathy or outrage based on how the audience relates to those values. I realize this book was just a compilation of essays, which was both it's strength and weakness. Strength because it allowed more freedom of movement on the topics covered, weakness because the author lacked any central thesis that really tied it all together into a coherent narrative.

  • Joe S
    2019-01-24 09:53

    Tasty little treat, and essential as an intro to semiology, cultural theory and/or just plain critical thinking. Four stars as a teaching tool. As a read in its own right, though, it feels like one of those seminal texts that outdate themselves. You hit an especially belabored point and think, "Well, no shit. We all got there 30 years ago with...ah...Barthes. Oh."But hot damn, does it make freshmen's heads explode. Pre-tween little brainses everywhere.

  • Blair
    2019-01-08 07:40

    While some of the essays collected in Mythologies are inevitably dated, their basic premise – the idea of cultural phenomena, everything from washing powder and cars to wrestling matches and the face of Greta Garbo, as 'modern myths' – remains both relevant and accessible. Culminating in the longer, linguistics-heavy essay 'Myth Today', the book is intellectually demanding, but it's also playful and even funny at times. A challenging and thought-provoking break from fiction.

  • Alex
    2019-01-08 08:44

    This sounds interesting, but I have a very low tolerance for wankery. This better not wank.

  • Alicia
    2019-01-18 09:23

    Ouch, my brain hurts.

  • James F
    2019-01-05 03:34

    Roland Barthes' Mythologies is a book I should have read long ago when I was college, if for no other reason than (as I recognized in reading it) that there are echoes of its ideas and terminology in so many other things I've read, especially in books or articles about literature. The book is divided into two parts; the first part is a collection of the author's articles, mainly from les Lettres Nouvelles, exposing various "myths" in everyday life and popular culture, while the second part is a theoretical explanation of his conception of what "modern myths" are and how they function. The articles range from pro wrestling to criminal trials, child poets to detergent commercials. Some were too specific to France, or to the 1950s, to be entirely clear to me, or if they were clear, were no longer very relevant; I understand that recent English translations are annotated, but I read it in the original French paperback from 1957 so I was pretty much on my own. The article about the mythology of jet pilots, for example, would not apply today when commercial jet flights are totally routine, but it fit exactly with the mythology of the astronauts (who, as The Right Stuff shows, inherited their mythology from jet test pilots.) In reading it, I wished the author had published it a decade later, because I would like to have read his analysis of the space race as mythology.The important part, of course, is the theoretical essay which makes up the last fifth of the book. Maybe it would have been better if that had been first, so I would have understood from the beginning what he meant in describing certain things as "myths", but on the other hand his examples in the first part probably made the essay easier to follow. He defines "mythology" in semiological terms, as a meta-linguistic phenomenon which begins from a "sign" (in the Saussurian meaning) in the object language, which he calls a "sense", and treats it as a "form" which is then a signifier for a "concept", creating a "significance". A myth is made up of repeated similar "significances". The definition, and the first example he gives (using a sentence in the object language as an example of a grammatical paradigm) makes his idea of mythology seem too general, but it soon becomes obvious that he is really talking about the mythology of bourgeois ideology. One good point was his discussion of how the bourgeoisie is anonymous, that is how it never lets itself be named (I couldn't help but think of the passage in Fred Halstead's Out Now about the SDS demonstration at the beginning of the antiwar movement, where the speaker says he's going to call the people responsible for the war by their right name, and the older socialists (like Halstead) were disappointed that instead of saying "the capitalists" he said "the power elite"; and of the recent liberal euphemism, the "one percent", which always makes me want to reply, "call them capitalists, that's who they are".) The most important points, however, were that myths function to eliminate history and to "naturalize" artificial historically determined phenomena as if they were eternal natural facts, and that in doing so they "depoliticize" their objects. (It's just natural that in America there are just two parties, Democrats and Republicans, right?) One point I would have to disagree with him on, is his contention that there are no important or "essential" leftist myths. I think he's correct that revolutionary thinking is necessarily historical and political, and hence excludes mythology, and that left myths are only possible when the "left" has ceased to be revolutionary -- his example is the myth of Stalin. I think he's mistaken when he says that leftist myths are only political and don't extend throughout society the way the rightist (bourgeois) myths do. Certainly Stalinist mythology extended throughout society in the USSR itself; the bureaucracy, like the bourgeoisie in the West, never let itself be named, and all the historically determined contradictions and privileges of the bureaucracy were naturalized. Perhaps he is implicitly limiting himself to left myths in the capitalist world, or perhaps (it was 1957) he had illusions in the Krushchev reforms (although he has a good footnote where he says that "Krushchevism" only devalued Stalinism, never explained it, and therefore never "re-politicized" Stalin.)

  • Jo Coleman
    2019-01-22 06:52

    Did I read this because I wanted to learn about semiotics, or because I wanted to signify to my fellow commuters that I think I'm a smart-arse? Ahhhhh, who can say! But the bit where he compared the royal family to pedigree pugs made me laugh.

  • Andrea
    2018-12-30 10:49

    I loved one point made by Barthes, and one point only. So it got a three and not less, because it also had me raging.I love the idea of myth as violence, the idea that it represents the stripping of a word or an image of all of its historical and political content, replacing it with an ideal. And in the world of today, it is almost always a political or marketing kind of ideal. Aesop, mythmaker extraordinaire, ensures through his stories that there is no longer a living, breathing, hungry lion, but a pale image of one that represents any number of things, none of which correspond to the actual fiercely beautiful lion himself. The same is true of colonial subjects, middle-class and happy families, actresses, soap. I think that's dead on.So now to the rage. Like this: "in a bourgeois culture, there is neither proletarian culture nor proletarian morality, there is no proletarian art; ideologically, all that is not bourgeois is obliged to borrow from the bourgeoisie." That just inspires a huge expletive from me, and the desire to see Barthes and James Kelman locked into a room for half an hour so Kelman could tear him into pieces. I hate this constant denigration of the 'proletariat', I think it is all too common in Marxism, which is not surprising because Marx himself couldn't stand them as individuals, only in distant mass (as proven convincingly by Ranciere.)Barthes is still so tied to Saussure as well. Unlike Saussure he does not believe that signs and signifiers are unitary and distinct, but he laments that they are not. He thinks it is utterly bourgeois that they are not, it is a weakness of words that they can mean different things. Me? I love Bakhtin and Voloshinov, the celebration of this richness and diversity of words, this sense of how you can play with them. And the acknowledgment that words are struggled over, and that class struggle is found there as much as anywhere. In fact, this struggle over the meaning of words like democracy, equality, work? Part of the most important struggle there is. And so when Barthes declares we must strip all richness, all beauty, all ambiguity from words in the name of the revolution, that we must go down to the bones and be entirely practical. Well. Maybe I'm biased as someone who writes and loves fiction, but I despise that idea. The glory of words for the masses I say, I will fight over them with the best, wield them against the oppressor, and revel in them as a human being.

  • i!
    2018-12-24 09:46

    Myth As Stolen Language—makes interesting move from description of myth strictly in linguistic terms to characterizing Contemporary Poetry as antimythical system, which is in turn, of course, appropriated as {Contemporary-Poetry-as-antimythical}-as-myth.Pg. 244: "Myth can reach everything, corrupt everything, and even the very act of refusing oneself to it."Math as a "finished language which derives its very perfection from this acceptance of death". Quantitative-as-death. Tautology reaches the same end: "Now, any refusal of language is a death. Tautology creates a dead, motionless world" (267).Q: Can Myth be described in relation to the terms quantitative or qualitative?A: "By reducing any quality to quantity, myth economizes intelligence: it understands reality more cheaply" (268)."Contemporary Poetry is a regressive semiological system."Compare "image-at-one's-disposal" (259) to the ready-to-hand object.~My favorite essay had to be "The Tour de France as Epic", followed closely by "Einstein's Brain", "Striptease" and "Astrology". "Paris Not Flooded" is easily, if a bit callously, applicable to post-Sandy NYC or, less easily, post-Katrina New Orleans. I don't really get/appreciate the kitsch associated with Barthes's less universal examples, so it was with things that were applicable to me when the full power of Barthes's essays came out. What would the recent (2012) doping scandal mean to Barthes? A demi-god cyclists' half-Ragnarök.

  • Sean
    2018-12-25 06:35

    'Mythologies' is the bric-à-brac of 20th-century Western popular culture—liquid detergent, Einstein, children's toys, science fiction, the visage of Greta Garbo, Parisian strip-teases—unveiled from banal exteriors to expose layers of meaning and metameaning, the semiotics underpinning modernity. Barthes' prose, bordering on the poetic, is suffused with an appropriate level of subtle, self-aware playfulness that renders the work a more approachable starting point in the fields of cultural studies/theory than his more prosaic contemporaries.Highlights: "In the Ring" (wrestling as classical drama and baroque spectacle)"Paris Not Flooded" (where the transformation of a waterlogged 1955 Paris engenders a euphoric celebration, the displacement of the city becoming that of a child playing with toy-blocks)"The Tour de France As Epic" (the bicycle race as Homeric topography)

  • Jeremy
    2019-01-10 09:23

    The only Barthes I've read before is his "death of the author piece," which is sort of the token piece of theory which everyone who majored in english is familiar with. What makes this so interesting is how he weaves this incredibly fluid analysis informed by his ideas of myth and semiology. It kind of reminds me of Vico a bit, where you see a methodology arise out of examples instead of just being introduced in a rote, inorganic way. The way he takes apart these hopelessly everyday things and shows the ideologies underpinning them feels very fresh and organic here, not at all like the often tiresome, intentionally obscurantist analysis of many people who would try to do the same thing later on.

  • Raya Al-Raddadi
    2019-01-10 08:24

    يعدد بالقسم الأول بعضاً من أهم الأساطير المعاصرة وماتشير إليه مثل المصارعة كترفيه للطبقات الكادحة والغير مثقفة بعكس الأوبرا،، وأمثلة أخرىثم يقوم بالجزء الثاني (والذي أظنه الأهم ) بتحليلها مستعيناً بعلم الرموز ونظرية سوسير في النظر إلى تلك الأساطير كرمز يتكون من دال ومدلول ودلالة وما إلى ذلك ويركز كثير على دور الايدولوجيا في إنشاء تلك الأساطير جعلها تظهر بمظهر عفوي بعد أن تشوه طبيعتها التاريخية والسياسية .. كتاب يستحق القراءة ويجعلك تبدأ النظر لهذا العالم وتحليل كل مايبدو طبيعياً وبديهياً من زاوية أخرى لم تعتد عليها ..قرأته بترجمته الانجليزية ولذا لا أستطيع كتابة مراجعة مفيدة بالعربية (ولا أظن قرائته بالترجمة العربية ستكون مثمرة على أي حال).

  • Yann
    2019-01-20 08:31

    C'est sans doute l'un des pires livres de ma bibliothèque. Pédant, creux, fatueux, vide et ennuyeux: il ne s'agit que de lire des fadaises à propos de sottises. Rien ne vient rétribuer l'impatience du pauvre lecteur qui s'inflige chaque page comme une punition chaque fois plus cuisante. On ne devrait pas autant abuser de la longanimité du lecteur plein de bonne volonté. Pour moi, Barthes, c'est terminé.