Mythologies

Mythologies

"No denunciation without its proper instrument of close analysis," Roland Barthes wrote in his preface to Mythologies. There is no more proper instrument of analysis of our contemporary myths than this book—one of the most significant works in French theory, and one that has transformed the way readers and philosophers view the world around them.

Our age is a triumph of codification. We own devices that bring the world to the command of our fingertips. We have access to boundless information and prodigious quantities of stuff. We decide to like or not, to believe or not, to buy or not. We pick and choose. We think we are free. Yet all around us, in pop culture, politics, mainstream media, and advertising, there are codes and symbols that govern our choices. They are the fabrications of consumer society. They express myths of success, well-being, and happiness. As Barthes sees it, these myths must be carefully deciphered, and debunked.

What Barthes discerned in mass media, the fashion of plastic, and the politics of postcolonial France applies with equal force to today's social networks, the iPhone, and the images of 9/11. This new edition of Mythologies, complete and beautifully rendered by the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, critic, and translator Richard Howard, is a consecration of Barthes's classic—a lesson in clairvoyance that is more relevant now than ever.

Title:Mythologies
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780374521509
Format Type:

    Mythologies Reviews

  • Riku Sayuj

    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 n...

  • Fergus

    When I was in my early teens, and in my junior year in high school, my family used to often take mini-weekend-holidays in Montreal. What wonderful memories...I, in my free time, when my Dad and Mom we...

  • Michael

    A collection of short essays on pop culture, politics, and media, Barthes’s Mythologies dissects the cherished myths of the bourgeoisie that governed the daily life of France in the 1950s. Across fi...

  • Trevor

    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 ...

  • Steven Godin

    The innovative essays covered in Mythologies by French semiotician and critic Barthes examines everything from mass culture, its ads and hidden or disguised messages, its icons and politics, its despe...

  • Petre

    The second part of the book "Myth today", which is some kind of theory of myth, I think is one of the basic work for studying of the Culture. ...

  • Tosh

    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 lik...

  • Ellen

    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 o...

  • Roz Foster

    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 ver...

  • Khashayar Mohammadi

    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 ...