Television Mythologies: Stars, Shows and Signs By Len Masterman
Publisher: Routledge 1987-05-18 | 152 Pages | ISBN: 041503700X | PDF | 1.1 MB
Roland Barthes wrote Mythologies between 1954 and 1956. His sharp and elegant studies of such aspects of popular culture as striptease, wrestling, toys, tourist guides, etc., were produced at a time when most of the contributors to this volume were still at school. Such is the insularity of British culture that Mythologies was not translated into English until 1972. It made an immediate impact. Dated and removed from British cultural interests though its subject matter frequently was, it nevertheless spoke vigorously and directly to many people who had for some time been questioning the eternal verities of British literary culture. Among the verities in question were the assertion of the preeminent significance of literature, the concomitant devaluation of popular cultural forms and the displacement of political and ideological questions into questions of literary value.
Mythologies turned these values upside down. Firstly, Barthes published his pieces not in academic journals, but in popular magazines. And the sharpest possible rejection of established tastes was implicit in his choice of subject. If a plate of steak and chips, a margarine advertisement and a poem were to be seen as equally worthy of serious critical attention, then a significant step had been taken towards a truly scandalous equation between these objects....
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