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What is astrology? Fiction for the bourgeoisie. The Tour de France? An epic. The brain of Einstein? Knowledge reduced to a formula. Like iconic images of movie stars or the rhetoric of politicians, they are fabricated. Once isolated from the events that gave birth to them, these "mythologies" appear for what they are: the ideology of mass culture. When Roland Barthes's groundbreaking Mythologiesfirst appeared in English in 1972, it was immediately recognized as one of the most significant works in French theoryyet nearly half of the essays from the original work were missing. This new edition of Mythologiesis the first complete, authoritative English version of the French classic. It includes the brilliant "Astrology," never published in English before, as well as gorgeous photographs of 1950s France to help readers visualize the myths Barthes masterfully decrypts. Mythologiesis a lesson in clairvoyance. In a new century where the virtual dominates social interactions and advertisement defines popular culture, it is more relevant than ever.
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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“Teacher, man of letters, moralist, philosopher 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