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Jean Baudrillard DiesAge 77


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#1 papeetepatrick

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 03:38 PM

http://www.iht.com/a...Baudrillard.php

He was a real hero of mine, a reckless thinker who took chances rather than being as fastidious as some of his peers--he would therefore occasionally come up with the most amazingly illuminating and inspiring things, which could change one's whole view of the universe. It didn't matter if some of his outrageous things were completely crazy-sounding, he was experimenting and working on an idea till he got it.

Of interest to artists especially, his work on the hyperreal and emphasis on Warhol was groundbreaking and very useful to many of us. It wasn't 'popularized', but it was comprehensible, whereas much academic serious writing is kept within the academy. Other people could read it, as other people can read Nietzsche, of which he is to some degree a descendant. However, he was in no way a sell-out, which the 'rock star philosopher' Slavoj Zizek seems to many of us to be. Nor was it a matter of obscurantism as with Derrida, with whom you had to wade through to much difficult text to find a pearl or two. Aside from Gilles Deleuze, probably for me the most influential of these last few decades of French structuralict and post-structuralist philosophy.

#2 dirac

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 03:56 PM

Thank you for posting, papeetepatrick. I am only familiar with Baudrillard through the reading of a couple of articles in isolation, but I found him as you say to be very accessible.

I do hope that, as the obituaries come in, they will talk about the remarkable variety of his work and not focus too much on his equivocal relationship with Uncle Sam.

#3 papeetepatrick

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:13 PM

Thank you for posting, papeetepatrick. I am only familiar with Baudrillard through the reading of a couple of articles in isolation, but I found him as you say to be very accessible.

I do hope that, as the obituaries come in, they will talk about the remarkable variety of his work and not focus too much on his equivocal relationship with Uncle Sam.


I think they will, as I should have included that his work with the ideas of 'simulation' (he followed up on a lot of McLuhan's great work) was truly the best that has appeared, and is important for some of us to keep in mind as we learn how to try to manage cyberspace. But I mainly added this to say that he was not especially anti-American, as many of the Continental philosophers are/were much more overtly. He was no French chauvinist, for example, if one takes the title of one of his essays 'Of Course Chirac Is Useless' seriously (I do, and he definitely did). There's no way he could be called a Marxist. His best work was done in analysis of media--a field in which it is very hard to keep your head, to say the least.

#4 papeetepatrick

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 09:01 AM

http://www.nytimes.c...?ref=obituaries

This is considerably better, will tell those who don't know that much about Baudrillard a lot more than the early one. I was interested that 'The Matrix' referenced Baudrillard, and that he then wrote about their 'series of misunderstandings.' I fully agree (and had somehow missed this, although I've followed Baudrillard pretty closely). 'The Matrix' is easy stuff, but that's not why it's not impressive. There are a lot of reasons. However, Keanu Reaves was well-cast, because his half-there absence/presence was paradoxically 'authentic' for such a half-there, overrated film. I've never seen him give any performance that wasn't pretty slack-jawed and weak, but I haven't seen that many either. He was also 'authentically horrible' in 'My Own Private Idaho' and the deeper textured film partner, River Phoenix, then went too deep, ending in tragedy at or near Depp's Viper Club.

Zizek's 'Welcome to the Desert of the Real' takes its title straight out of dialogue from 'The Matrix,' and then proceeds to more or less set out the new direction he will take some of this kind of analysis he's derived from Baudrillard among others, and to corrupt it thoroughly with his own blind ambition.


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