May 12, 09
Read in April, 2009
It's Barthes' seminal book and one that can actually be read with sanity. It served as my reference (of course) for the paper on semiotics and motion design.
Part of Barthes' motivation with writing the book is that he saw history routinely presented as nature in media and mass communication through myth. Barthes defines a myth as a type of speech (p. 109) that by it's nature eschews the critical. The theory of semiotics postulates that a semiological sign consists of a signifier and the signified. Barthes sees mythology as a language system in which a typical sign becomes the mere signifier, thus building up a semiological chain.
The books actually consists of very brief essays (28 of them) that Barthes' wrote and published in various papers and journals on topics (should I say myths?) of popular culture. Thus they're approachable and surprisingly amusing. Those looking for a theoretical reference won't be disappointed either since the last chapter titled "myth today" outlines the theoretical framework for essays prior.