Roland Barthes’s Mythologies

A Breakthrough Contribution to the Study of Mass Culture

Authored by: Dana Polan

The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415641470
eBook ISBN: 9780203081846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136175961


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Within the history of the study of mass culture and everyday life, Roland Barthes’s Mythologies from 1957 enjoys legendary status—and rightfully so. Bringing together most of a series of essayistic reflections that Barthes had been fashioning on a monthly basis for the journal Lettres Nouvelles on objects, phenomena, and key practices of contemporary mass culture (plus two pieces from other publications), Mythologies stands as one of the first concerted modern attempts to attend closely to the concrete operations of mass culture as ideological practice. (In passing, it should be noted that the first English language edition of Mythologies, from 1972, had been shorn of twenty-five of the little pieces by the publisher. The year 2012 saw a new English language edition of the volume with the missing essays restored. But this new edition suffers from numerous, often quite troublesome, errors of transcription that mean that today’s reader needs to approach it with caution.)

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