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The Semiotic Challenge
     

The Semiotic Challenge

by Roland Barthes, Richard Howard (Translator)
 

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Most of these essays were written between 1963 and 1973 and constitute either the elements of the semiotic discipline or the analysis of texts—ranging from the Bible to advertising—in order to determine the site of possible meanings in narratives. Intent on discovering signification's importance in art as well as life, Barthes sets up a rigorous system

Overview


Most of these essays were written between 1963 and 1973 and constitute either the elements of the semiotic discipline or the analysis of texts—ranging from the Bible to advertising—in order to determine the site of possible meanings in narratives. Intent on discovering signification's importance in art as well as life, Barthes sets up a rigorous system and puts it to work.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For Barthes, the 20th century is a civilization of double messages, connotations and propaganda. An ad, a newspaper headline, a movie, a car, a dish of foodall are signs, complexes of meaning that constantly elude us because we reflexively accept man-made culture as if it were nature. In these difficult and sometimes obscure essays, written mostly between 1963 and 1973, the late French thinker wields the theory of signs or semiotics in deciphering urban spaces, medical symptoms, advertising and literature. Defining the art of narrative as the unforeseen expansion of signifiers, Barthes unravels narrative structure in novels, myths, folktales, the biblical account of Jacob wrestling with the angel and a story by Poe. He includes a mini-manual of rhetoric and traces the decline of this ancient and instructional art to its present status as ghost in the machine of mass culture. (March)
Library Journal
This volume enlarges our knowledge of Barthes's views on semiology and structuralism and further testifies to the breadth of his interests. The 15 essays encompass medicine, sociology, urbanism, and the structural analysis of narrative, as well as Barthes's notes for a seminar on rhetoric that he held at the Ecole practique des hautes etudes in 1964-65a text that demonstrates a prodigious understanding of the history of rhetoric and the wit and originality that marks the whole of his oeuvre . Essential for libraries serving graduate programs in cultural studies, linguistics, literary theory, and rhetoric. C. Mark Hurlbert, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania, Indiana

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520087842
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
09/26/1994
Pages:
293
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author


Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor at the Collège de France until his death in 1980.

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