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The Myths Of Roland Barthes

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Barthes offers a full-blooded theory of myth (his demurrer that it is all very preliminary notwithstanding). It is divided into two parts and discussed separately. The first is an exposition that highlights the crucial moves in Barthes's text, drawing out the basics of semiology, focusing on a tension in Barthes's analysis between description and criticism and tracking his forlorn efforts at resistance to the baleful effects of myth. The second part seeks to apply to Barthes's argument his own approach. He has a propensity to focus on the fragmentary hints and suggestions, the moments in a text - an odd feature of a sentence, an image evoked or a trigger - that make one pause, look up and follow a train of thought. As a result, myth turns out to bear within itself a pattern of opposition and resistance.

Keywords: accusation; Roland Barthes; semiology; theory of myth



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