Posted by: Edward | June 15, 2006

Review of Mythologies by Roland Barthes

Originally posted: Mon, Feb. 20th, 2006 20:26

A problem with the take on myth that Barthes develops in his Mythologies is that he privileges the illusory distinction between myth and revolutionary speech. Myth for him is speech that naturalizes the ideology and relations of the bourgeoisie, while revolutionary speech upsets this. Both, however, are charged with producing the situation the present and interpret. Myth is productive. Myth is the revolutionary speech of bourgeois interests as seen from its receivers rather than its producers. Revolutionary speech is myth as seen by its producers. Producing his own myths is man inventing himself.

Barthes does, however, provide a tool kit for examining and analyzing the mythic. He also created a field guide for identifying species of mythologizing. From these tools an interested party could derive tools for the intentional production of myth.

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