14th Jun 2006

Mythologies and vacation

Hi guys, just finished my beautiful life on the beach and come back to unhealthy life in Saigon Image Okay, I don’t write this for complaining but about Mythologies of Roland Barthes (his name sounds a little bit like Mr. Barthez the goalkeeper. But it’s another story).

I have the book for quite a while, and it dragged at home months and months as last time I could not finish even a Vietnamese book. Image

How did I have it? I guess it begun with a conversation with Ech, don’t really remember how it was but the name of Barthes was mentioned. Actually I know he wrote Le degrée zéro de l’écriture, and as every decent, serious and reasonable people, I have no intention to read it! Image

So Ech said “hey, try Mythologies, he wrote about myths of modern life: fashion and all”. Don’t remember exactly what she said but I’m sure there was the word “fashion” in it. And you know, for me “fashion” means clothes, bags, shoes and stuffs Image.

So I managed to have a copy for free. It’s not the original version but English one.

And you can imagine my deception where I found no “fashion” in it Image So it dragged at home months and months.

Don’t know why I brought the book with me to Phan Thiet. Perhaps it was just like that, the book was there and I took it. Perhaps because it’s thin.

And it has turned to funny, charming, smart and easy-reading essays. Don’t know why but the style recalls me Nguyen Tuan a little bit.  I haven’t read it from beginning to end but only essays I’ve found “relevant” Image. So you can understand my choices: “Striptease”, “Novels and Children”, “Toys”, “The face of Garbo”, “Wine and Milk”, “Operation Margarine”…

I’ll put some of essays here next time.


3 Responses to “Mythologies and vacation”

  1. Hieu Says:

    I also have one book from him, Camera Lucida, the English version, recommended by Ech too but I can’t finish. Hopefully one day in a sunny beach, with no girl in bikini around …

  2. today20 Says:

    Hi hi I read Life of Pi (French version) and I’m not surprised that anh Hieu has not finished it yet :-p Actually I liked the last chapter but the way to this one was too much Robinson Crusoe :-D Like The Sphinx in the Garden better.

    I saw in Barthes’ bio that he wrote Fashion system and I thought about you :-p

  3. hoaianh Says:

    hehe, Barthes and vacation, i can´t imagine. To me, he is always serious somehow, even with his most accessible works like Mythologies. But given that they were written like 50 years ago, it´s amazing that they still keep some relevance today.
    Barthes actually have one book called the Fashion system with extremely seductive cover !!! but to my disapppointment it´s all words and words with linguistique diagram. I quit!

    Anh Hieu: Camera Lucida is very seductive, esp. the later part, after you have passed all the technical term of seminology in the first part. You never finish my other book which i also recommended like Life of Pi :P
    Plus: Argentina vs. Holland is boring, hichic, because things are settled down so early. Poor guys who pay 1000 for ticket from black market to see this match. I feel lucky now :D

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