In the Sixties, especially in France, this method was also used to explain other systems, one of which was (and the work of Levi-Strauss is pre-eminent here) the system of cultural phenomena.
However, not all semioticians used the structuralist method.
Such a study also involves the demonstration of the existence of sign systems even where least immediately apparent or expected.
Structuralism is a method which has been shown to be extremely useful in the explanation of linguistic systems, in the work of Saussure and, later, of Hjelmslev and Jakobson.
During the Sixties, two disturbing words erupted into the calm waters of the European academic world: semiotics (or semiology) and structural- ism.
Small World was published in 1984, at a time when the series of English translations of Russian and Soviet semiotic texts produced by L. O’Toole and Ann Shukman, Russian Poetics in Translation , had already been in in progress for several years.
However, during the Sixties and Seventies, Lotman’s works were more widely known on the Continent than in Britain.
The centre of this research paradigm was Paris, although the phenomenon spread steadily throughout Europe and to many North and Latin American universities.
The devastating effect created in Britain by these new approaches to language (and, as a result, to the study of the languages of art) is recorded by David Lodge’s novel Small World , (clear proof that literary works can often be much more informative about the world and our society than many scientific treatises).