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Image-Music-Text Paperback – July 1, 1978

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Roland Barthes, the French critic and semiotician, was one of the most important critics and essayists of this century. His work continues to influence contemporary literary theory and cultural studies. Image-Music-Text collects Barthes's best writings on photography and the cinema, as well as fascinating articles on the relationship between images and sound. Two of Barthes's most important essays, "Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative" and "The Death of the Author" are also included in this fine anthology, an excellent introduction to his thought.

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“The dominant perspective of the thirteen essays collected in Image-Music-Text is semiology. Barthes extends the 'empire of signs' over film and photography, music criticism . . . and writing and reading as historically situated activities. Several essays are frankly didactic. They review and expand the domain of a certain terminology: interpretive codes, narrational systems, functions and indices, denotation and connotation. Yet those impatient with special terms will not mind too much, for where else do they get, under the same cover, Beethoven and 'Goldfinger,' the Bible and 'Double Bang à Bangkok'? . . . Barthes is technical without being heavy, and a professional without ceasing to be an amateur. His precise yet fluent prose treats personal insight and systematic concepts with equal courtesy.” ―Geoffrey Hartman, The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang (July 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374521360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374521363
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A note: these essays were not only translated, but also selected by Heath.

A series of essays about the composition of images (aural, textual, and visual). A good collection for people interested in his thoughts on cinema and structuralist treatment of visual form. I'm a long way from my university infatuation with semiotics, but I still find this thought-provoking to return to and an ongoing pleasure to read.
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Format: Paperback
This book is phenomenal. It analyzes aspects of human knowledge that one never thought possible. I recommend reading Foucault's "The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language" first. It will set the basis for what Barthes just dives into. Awesome analysis.
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Roland Barthes is a great writer, the various essays are concise, technical but without leaving the less technical reader lost. There is actually a lot to enjoy and I find as an artist Barthes insights inspire me to think about images in new ways while also giving insight into other arts like music and text. I would like to read more by Barthes in the future.
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Like so much of this author's work, I profit from it although I don't accept his premises. The writing is very hifalutin and abstract. It's not easy to figure out his meaning with all the abstract terms. Still he makes some great points.

He uses a term - censorship through repletion - that I have never encountered elsewhere. I understand this to mean that there is so much worthless discourse that information has no audience. I find this an apt term for present US media. Our world is falling apart and the news is about Game of Thrones. The sea is rising and we worry about whether a favorite TV show will be canceled or which new toy is better, the a-phone or the b-phone.

I prefer reading old books to new. Somehow Barthes seems like an old-timer in this equation. He's part of the tradition of making real points although he's not that ancient.
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got this because of a professor recommend it. loved it. item arrived in a timely and orderly fashion, as eel as in the condition as expected.
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Barthes manner of explanation is personal and didactic - he was dedicated to the essay form and I enjoy returning to each of them.
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Image Music and Text is a classic on text linguistics and should be in the library of every musician, writer, and linguist.
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