empire of signs

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roland barthes is certainly worth reading. well, i hope that became obvious already in the last post. he often crosses the line between theory and literature, which makes for an interesting read on many levels. i especially would like to recommend empire of signs. it is a travel book of some sorts. but barthes would not be barthes if he would not make very clear that he is not writing about his travel to japan, but about his japan, his personal idea of japan…

so you get actually not only some excellent litterature, but also a first idea of the workings of the mind of barthes.

get it and enjoy it!

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2 Responses to “empire of signs”

  1. yltiti Says:

    oh!
    reminds me of a movie I once saw…
    Sans Soleil
    by Chris Marker
    1983 it was
    in Locarno
    hmm…

  2. sunbathinglizard Says:

    true true – there are connections.

    you’ll find the text to the film here: http://www.markertext.com/sans_soleil.htm
    (if you are looking for the japanese version, go here: http://www.markertext.com)

    here two interesting excerpts:
    “The commercial becomes a kind of haiku to the eye, used to Western atrocities in this field; not understanding obviously adds to the pleasure. For one slightly hallucinatory moment I had the impression that I spoke Japanese, but it was a cultural program onNHK about Gérard de Nerval.”

    “Poetry is born of insecurity: wandering Jews, quaking Japanese; by living on a rug that jesting nature is ever ready to pull out from under them they’ve got into the habit of moving about in a world of appearances: fragile, fleeting, revocable, of trains that fly from planet to planet, of samurai fighting in an immutable past. That’s called ‘the impermanence of things.'”

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