The first of the fifty short essays which make up the volume entitled Mythologies was published in the monthly review Esprit in October 1952, at a time when Barthes was still relatively unknown. It was entitled Le Monde où l’on catche, and is still one of the most entertaining of the mythologies. In 1958, it was reprinted in its entirety, accompanied by some superb photography, in the semi-official monthly review Education Physique et Sport, and is one of the few serious attempts to analyse a phenomenon which lies on an interesting borderline between sport and popular entertainment.1 It attracted sufficient attention for Maurice Nadeau, who had already played some part in Barthes’s career by taking the essays in Le degré zéro de l’écriture for Combat, to ask him to contribute a whole series of shorter Mythologies to Les Lettres Nouvelles. These appeared fairly regularly in review form in 1954 and 1955 before being published in one volume in March 1957. This was reprinted in 1965 and reissued as a paperback in 1970, but without including any of the essays which constituted the second series, published when Les Lettres Nouvelles briefly became a weekly review in the spring of 1959.
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