The Semiological Functioning of the Image

  • Georges Mounin
Part of the Topics in Contemporary Semiotics book series (TICSE, volume 158)


I have chosen to deal with this topic on the basis of Albert Plécy’s book Grammaire élémentaire de l’image 1 because its author has been able, as editor-in-chief of the Parisien Libéré, to examine, sort, classify and manipulate probably more than a million pictures. Basing oneself on such experience and such a book offers the possibility of remaining in the realm of the concrete as long as is necessary to avoid the permanent risk of windy intellectualization or of premature philosophizing about the image under the illusion that one is doing semiological analysis. I have chosen to base my discussion on this book also because it is the most interesting, the most intelligent, the most stimulating I have encountered on this theme up to now. Besides, on two occasions, reviews in the periodical Média showed similar reactions to this outstanding work.2


Outstanding Work Word Message Permanent Risk Clear Plastic Sheet Premature Philosophize 
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  1. 3.
    See Marcel Hignette, “Plaidoyer pour la classification réfléchie des usages de la photogra-phic dans rimprimerie,” Caractère (Christmas 1959) Jacques Windenberger, La Photogra-phie ,in the series, Vivre son temps (Editions Ouvrieres, 1965).Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Luis J. Prieto, Messages et signaux (1966; P.U.F., 2nd ed., 1972); Principes de noologie (La Haye: Mouton, 1964).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georges Mounin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ProvenceAix-MarseillesFrance

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