The Book Depository Empire Signs by Roland Barthes

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The Book Depository Empire Signs by Roland Barthes
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Description: Empire Signs : Paperback : Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc : 9780374522070 : 0374522073 : 01 Oct 1983 : With this book, Barthes offers a broad-ranging meditation on the culture, society, art, literature, language, and iconography--in short, both the sign-oriented realities and fantasies--of Japan itself. The Book Depository Empire Signs by Roland Barthes - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

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Product ID: 9780374522070

MPN: 0374522073

GTIN: 9780374522070

 
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Author: Mark Down

Rating: 5

Review: thanks for good service. Complex book!

 

Author: Vigilantius

Rating: 2

Review: This is about as turgid and self-important as an academic can get. He may be famous, but Barthes clearly doesn’t understand Japan and more particularly Zen. He misconstrues the latter as a subtle language of meaning beyond signs, which somehow still is a sign. In fact, the whole point of Zen is that it is about experience which cannot be put into words – the experience of seeing the true nature of reality, and living life accordingly. Of course, Barthes claims that this book is not really about Japan but about an imaginary construct. So be it. His construct is dull and teaches us nothing that cannot be said far more simply. He comes across in this short (but long-winded) book as someone who walks up to a garden gate and then hypothesises endlessly about what might lie beyond, failing to open the gate and enter. Incidentally, Barthes misses the single main cultural fact about late 20th century Japan in his 1983 book: its Americanisation, after occupation by US troops during 1945-52 (following the disastrous war and the preceding period of intense nationalism and modernisation). The old Japan, about which Barthes fantasises, was doubly swept away – and though it remains as an underlying perspective, it is stagnant and increasingly hollow. (Thus Zen, like Buddhism, is dying out in Japan, but is discovering new directions and vigour in the West.) He gets two stars for at least realising that there is a real world out there beyond the semiotics and excess complexity of cerebral posturing.

 

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