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Introducing Barthes: A Graphic Guide (Introducing Graphic Guides)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Roland Barthes is best known as a semiologist, a student of the science of signs. This sees human beings primarily as communicating animals. It looks at the way they use language, clothes, gestures, hair styles, visual images, shapes and colour to convey to one another their tastes, their emotions, their ideal self-image and the values of their society. Philip Thody and ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 20th 1993 by Icon Books
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Tim Pendry
Nov 09, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No-one - go to Wikipedia
This should have got three stars as a bog standard basic introduction to the semiologist, Roland Barthes, but the graphics really do let it down and graphics are an essential element in this series which sells itself on using imagery to help get across complex ideas. The fact that Barthes was a sort of philosopher not only of language but of images makes this weakness doubly embarrassing.

And why is it so poor - other than looking as if it were little more than scribbles on a page? Because of a s
Oct 02, 2009 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
This somewhat odd little book - a cartoon introduction to the ideas and work of Barthes - served its purpose by (a) being relatively painless to read (though the assorted phalluses - or possibly phalli - which were sprinkled liberally through what seemed like an unnecessarily large number of the drawings got a bit tedious after a while) and (b) confirming what I had already suspected, that I can comfortably leave Monsieur Barthes to the academic set and get on with my reading, without feeling ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of the "Introducing" series or "....For Beginners" series -which maybe the one and the same, not sure? Nevertheless at its root it is a manga or comic version of a theory or subect matter. This particular one is on the great essaysist/critic Roland Barthes. It covers all his major works as well as his life. So in a sense it's a critical biography on the man via drawings and cartoon captions. If only all of life can be expressed that way!
May 04, 2013 John rated it it was ok
Why do semiologists insist on defining language as it is not, rather than trying to observe it as it is? What information can be conveyed by someone who insists that the mechanism for conveying information is inherently fascist? There may be some useful ideas in Barthes' work, but they're not conveyed in this introduction, and it sounds like he insists that only fellow obscurantists will be allowed to pretend they understand. Whatever he has to say apparently doesn't matter.
Very useful, and easily understandable overview and explanations of Barthes' work.
Jul 30, 2015 Remnant.Revenant rated it liked it
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Jan 09, 2016 Sai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, 2016
Informative introduction to semiotics (study of signs and symbols in literature etc.) Lot of illuminating socio-political commentary. A couple quotes I thought that stood out:
"I desire to see writers making their audience more conscious of the kind of society in which they are living" - Roland Barthes
"The group in power in society always insists that intellectual discussions shall take place in the kind of language which it uses, which it understands, and which represents its wayof seeing, inter
May 01, 2016 Marcus rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Mythologies by Roland Barthes was definitely a challenging read. I read this book to supplement my understanding of that book. I think that Barthes essays have value... and definitely bring up fascinating points in analyzing the world around us for how it communicates to us... yet to put his view as a tent pole... would lead to the reductive problem that nothing can really be communicated. I respect him as a thinker but I do in fact believe that sometimes an author can communicate with intent to ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Hina rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I had no idea who Barthes was or what significance semiology held in our modern world and context. This book, and the ideas it puts forth, are by no means easy to understand or digest. I found myself re-reading a couple of pages several times just because the subject matter is so complex. But the book does an excellent job of highlighting Barthes' major works, and his contributions to the field of semiotics. If anyone would like to know more about this revolutionary thinker, I would highly ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Joel rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory
A sharp and succinct entry-point to the work and concepts of Roland Barthes. I'd previously covered The Death of the Author when studying musicology at UWS and am looking forward to reading more of his work, particularly Camera Lucida and Fashion System. I'm particularly interested to explore Barthes' concepts more as they relate to music, as well as literature and fashion.
Harsimran Khural
Mar 26, 2016 Harsimran Khural rated it really liked it
This a readable and understandable introduction to Roland Barthes' work, although the author finds it difficult to avoid terminology sometimes. The illustrations are very interesting, and add to the book's appeal.
Patrick Fay
Sep 10, 2015 Patrick Fay rated it it was amazing
Really fun and very enlightening look at Barthes life and work. I love his Mythologies and this book made me think about that book and want to read others.

A really pleasant surprise for such quick read.
Aug 25, 2007 Nash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in semiotics.
Shelves: already-read
It was surely entertaining reading this information-packed, visual-explanatory book! Barthes is already a pleasure to get to know and read to begin with. This is a great attempt to put together his life and work in a cartoon style. For a visually-stimulated student like me, I love it! :-)
Margot Note
An easy-to-understand summary of Barthes's important works. The illustrations are a great addition, but the "orgiastic tableaux" they present, especially the section on Sade, made the book difficult to read on a crowded 6 train!
James Henry
Feb 11, 2013 James Henry rated it really liked it
This series is hard to beat. I would never have tried to read Barthes "cold" so I got a nice intro to his ideas without trying too hard. :)
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