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Mythologies: The Complete Edition, in a New Translation Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; Tra edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374532346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374532345
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Teacher, man of letters, moralist, philospher of culture, connoisseur of strong ideas, protean autobiographer . . . of all the intellectual notables who have emerged since World War II in France, Roland Barthes is the one whose work I am most certain will endure" —Susan Sontag
 
"One of the great public teachers of our time, someone who thought out, argued for, and made available serveral steps in a penetrating reflection on language sign systems, texts —and what they have to tell us about the concept of being human" —Peter Brooks
 
"With so much new material now included, this volume is not an unabridged reissue so much as a celebration anew." —Publishers Weekly

"Barthes was one of the major French critics of the 20th century, and this fuller translation will be of interest to English-speaking students of French and comparative literature as well as to cultural anthropologists." —Library Journal

"As this new translation and expansion of a seminal work by the French semiotician and philosopher demonstrates, Barthes remains ahead of his time, and our time, more than 30 years after his death.... It's remarkable that essays written more than a half-century ago, on another continent, should seem not merely pertinent but prescient in regard to the course of contemporary American culture." —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Roland Barthes was born in 1915. A French literary theorist, philosopher, and critic, he influenced the development of various schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, and post-structuralism. He died in 1980.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kirsti K. Simonsuuri on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roland Barthes' MYTHOLOGIES is central to a reader trying to understand the philosophy of everyday life and the problem of signification in our society. Barthes draws from the inexhaustible source of mythology and the ancient meanings of myth, and demystifies whatever he touches. Barthes as a cultural critic creates something new out of the stories about familiar objects and icons, such as Greta Garbo's face, toys, soap powder or Citroën. The book (2012) is a new translation of the 1957 work and it completes the previously untranslated essays to fifty-four, as in the original. The book shows that Barthes' work has stood the test of time very well. And though his comments hardly shock any longer, his thinking is as lucid as it must have been to the first readers when the essays were published in Lettres Nouvelles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Martin on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This new translation is detailed and yet easy to read. If you are into semiotics this is a must have text.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Behan on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book was my introduction to Roland Barthes and semiology, and I can't believe what I've been missing. He examines relatively mundane cultural myths, and it is simply brilliant. His use and examination of language is perfect, and I will reread this book regularly.

My favorite essay, by far, was "Novels and Children." He examines an Elle article about female novelists, and notes their writing is heralded along with (and truly, secondary to) their maternal accomplishments. Given that Wikipedia's American Novelists list was recently pared of female writers, who were shunted to a category just for lady writers, this is still a painfully relevant topic. It was a delight to read.

It is not a "beach read" by any means; it requires quite a bit of thought and consideration. I loved his perspective, and I'm inspired and awestruck. Though I'm not a French speaker, I would assume I have to praise the translations of Barthes' Mythologies by Richard Howard and Myth Today by Annette Lavers.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for an intelligent read. Many of the myths he examined from 1954-56 in French culture are relevant to American culture in 2013. I hate to say I found it surprising and a touch mind-boggling, but I do. I truly loved his linguistic and cultural examinations. I cannot recommend this enough; I would give a copy to everyone I know if I could.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Edgar Mihelic on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I found these kind of hard to read. Not hard in the way that a lot of philosophical texts are in that they drop a lot of jargon on you that the author created to define terms that other authors have already defined but that you are unaware of because you had not gone through your first round of reading the whole of philosophy yet; more like hard to read because of boredom. I couldn’t figure out why. They are short little texts, no more than ten pages. The premise is sound, basically pulling apart the mythos behind everyday objects.

Doing some thinking led me to think of a couple of major reasons. First off, the essays in the book are a touchstone for some very mid-century French objects and ideas. If I was familiar with most of what Barthes writes on, it is only in passing and some of my favorite writers are his countrymen from this period. It felt disconcerting, but it is what I image it will be like to read a Chuck Klostermann book fifty years hence – familiar but uncanny. Basically, my only context for what he is writing about is what I am reading at the moment. That fact does not allow me to see anything from a new angle; it is only from Barthes’s angle that I see it. By not being able to create my own interpretation of the validity of Barthes’s ideas, I am left alone to trust that he knows what he is talking about.

And I’m pretty sure he does, because in the texts that are unmediated solely by a Barthes’s eyes, he does have some unique insight that I have not thought about on everyday objects. There is an essay on cleaners that is rightly noted, and I think my explanation earlier serves a reason that it is noted. There is a later essay on cars that rings the same bell.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By pearl on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GET IT. i am an artist and this is one of my most important books. Barthes is one of my top fav influences. i say get everything by him.
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