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Image-Music-Text Paperback – July 1, 1978
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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.
“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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Top customer reviews
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.
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.