Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes

French semiologist

Lived from: 1915-1980

Category: Science

Quotes: Roland Barthes

Quotes 1 till 15 of 19.

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  • Roland Barthes
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    The New is not a fashion, it is a value.
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    There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society: to retreat ahead of it.
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    All official institutions of language are repeating machines: school, sports, advertising, popular songs, news, all continually repeat the same structure, the same meaning, often the same words: the stereotype is a political fact, the major figure of ideology.
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    Historically and politically, the petit-bourgeois is the key to the century. The bourgeois and proletariat classes have become abstractions: the petite-bourgeoisie, in contrast, is everywhere, you can see it everywhere, even in the areas of the bourgeois and the proletariat, what's left of them.
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    I call the discourse of power any discourse that engenders blame, hence guilt, in its recipient.
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    I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.
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    Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.
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    Language is legislation, speech is its code. We do not see the power which is in speech because we forget that all speech is a classification, and that all classifications are oppressive.
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    Literature is without proofs. By which it must be understood that it cannot prove, not only what it says, but even that it is worth the trouble of saying it.
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    Myth is neither a lie nor a confession: it is an inflexion.
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    Pleasure is continually disappointed, reduced, deflated, in favor of strong, noble values: Truth, Death, Progress, Struggle, Joy, etc. Its victorious rival is Desire: we are always being told about Desire, never about Pleasure.
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    The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition... always new books, new programs, new films, news items, but always the same meaning.
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    The face of Garbo is an Idea, that of Hepburn an Event.
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    The photographic image... is a message without a code.
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    The politician being interviewed clearly takes a great deal of trouble to imagine an ending to his sentence: and if he stopped short? His entire policy would be jeopardized!
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