"If Japan did not exist, Barthes would have had to invent it- not that Japan does exist in Empire of Signs, for Barthes is careful to point out that he is not analyzing the real Japan but rather one of his own devising. In this fictive Japan, there is no terrible innerness as in the West, no soul, no God, no fate, no ego, no grandeur, no metaphysics, no promotional fever and finally no meaning...For Barthes Japan is a test, a challenge to think the unthinkable, a place where meaning is finally banished. Paradise, indeed, for the great student of signs." - Edmund White
A beautiful trip through Japan as seen through the insatiable eyes of Roland Barthes. Condition: Very Good.