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“How Roland Barthes Gave Us the TV Recap”

October 19, 2017

from Sam Anderson, “How Roland Barthes Gave Us the TV Recap,” NY Times (May 25, 2012):

“The most reliable and user-friendly source of Barthes’s special variety of fun — the bouillon cube, if you will, of his critical flavor — is his early book “Mythologies,” originally published in 1957. In it, Barthes basically invented what we think of as cultural criticism: he was the first really first-rate intellectual to tell us what our most mundane pop culture actually means. For decades, however, only part of “Mythologies” was available in English. Its recent rerelease in a new and (for the first time) complete translation gives us an excuse not only to reread the book but also to consider some of the larger questions it raises, nearly 60 years later, for those of us still swimming through pop culture, and in particular for those of us who consider ourselves critics of that culture, which, these days, seems to be just about everyone.”

[continue reading on NY Times website]

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