In 1957 the literary critic and semiotician Roland Barthes wrote Mythologies, a short book full of short reflections on some of his societies dominant "myths". In this series we invite short contributions that reflect on today's modern myths; objects, events, relations, ways of being, ways of talking, that have that distinctive taken-for-granted quality that Bathes spoke about.
For Barthes, Myth is a secondary semiotic system, that functions through a process of connotation. The myth occupies the body of a simpler denotative sign, and turns it into a signifier. This is why Myth can in Barthes vision, often be so insidious, it occupies a simpler sign and distorts its meaning. Unlike Marxian notions of false consciousness, the mythical sign does not hide anything, it merely alienates the history of the sign, hence its masquerading as "natural".
The tone of Barthes' original pieces were inevitably linked to his own personal entanglements with these cultural forces, and it is probably because of this that this writing occupied a liminal space between academic, journalistic, and literary writing that stood in contrast to the dominant French academy style. Similarly, we are not interested in thorough scholarship, but rather musings that reflect the incompleteness of thoughts that are outreaching and developing.
For contributors: These pieces should be able to be comfortably read in one sitting so use your discretion in terms of length. Other media forms are welcome (video, audio, music, multimedia, whatever). Email your submissions (with the subject line "TINY MODERN MYTHS") to: email@example.com
See our (so far, tiny) catalog of TINY MODERN MYTH articles: