La Société du Spectacle

DEBORD, GUY

Edité par Buchet/Castel, Paris, 1967
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Titre : La Société du Spectacle

Éditeur : Buchet/Castel, Paris

Date d'édition : 1967

Etat du livre : Near Fine

Type de livre : Book

Description :

Very very good copy, somewhat lightly marked white covers as usual due to this particular semi-gloss card-paper, otherwise near fine. Truly groundbreaking imaginative polemical/theoretical/poetic book by the Situationist, sticking to ideas not personal power games. Separate from the rare ability to produce such a work, whether one sees it as a collage of plagiarisms or not, the bum was a Stalinist creep in everything from said plagiarism, his personal attacks on people including physical ones, his whining self-pity, his need of sugar-daddies to fund his lifestyle, his banal but dressed-up appropriation of every new thing the Left Bank had to offer, Hiroshima mon Amour’s tediously reductive editing of "love" versus" politics" even whilst making a far more extreme film himself (based on another Oedipal fort/da relation with the Lettrist Isidore Isou and his film Venom and Eternity (1951/2). He tried to divide and rule the student groups at the Sorbonne during May ’68, having arrived late and unneeded. He was the only "radical" who never once got stopped by the police, never once got arrested, and was personally a coward. He loved visiting Franco Spain with his billionaire film producer friend Lebovici, demeaning the proletariat waiters at every opportunity. True detournement of the society of the spectacle. Yet his seductiveness seemed to be based on pandering to a mixture of the Sturm und Drang phantasies of wealthy capitalist friends like Lebovici (whose producing of spectacle commercial cinema day in day out, as well as softcore porno Emmanuelle films, didn’t bother him, au contraire), a wife on whose immoral earnings he lived well on (immoral in his, in their, terms, as she worked to produce, day and night, the spectacle of advertising, the main enemy, justified yet again as detournement, yet if others partook of advertising, and they were not rich benefactors, they’d get smashed in the face. Or beaten up by his thugs, or attacked mercilessly in his endless writings, which he had a gang of women type out, as "typing and cooking are not man’s work." And work is also not a man's work, if you're a pimp. Pandering to humanist liberal codes meant his popularity and Situationism’s was brilliantly positioned to be co-opted – accepted – almost immediately (and that’s a beneficent reading: it was (suddenly!) the intention all along to make a proletarian revolution when he read about that in Lukacs. As with many of his other undigested influences, strangely always just when something was newly published in France and the "hot tip" on the Left Bank, Debord hastily "discovered" and regurgitated it, or polemicized furiously against it. But it’s quite disconcerting to realize how almost none of his aesthetic or literary predilections were long held, or deeply and problematically dealt with over time; his response was that of a true, fast, skimmer. Which also made him attractive (though it’s hard to imagine now) to those similarly inclined, prior to expulsions carbon copied from Surrealism’s schisms. And attractive apparently even to the odd damn good artist but intellectual joke, such as Yves Klein, sharing megalomaniac phantasies. Debord’s offering was of a kind of Paris remake of the German lonely wanderer albeit in the city, swallowed with a notion of Marxist critique of capitalist fetishization/reification necessitating a dream of individual freedom. Thus a notion of art, when all is said and done, of "peak experience" in the endless self expression of the isolated male in a lonely crowd surrounded by spectacle. In the United States and Britain at the time, there were at least three best sellers dealing with just such. And there were political conflagrations, "riots" in Watts and prior to that in Newark, which Debord mystically claimed were the result of his critiques of society, rather than of society itself, a society of the spectacle, Cadillacs and policing and housing and health for the rich. Every new Hollywood film was advertis. N° de réf. du libraire 69

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