Friday, February 22, 2019

Guy Debord | Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord
Society of the Spectacle
Detroit, USA: Black & Red, 1970
[unpaginated], 5.25 x 8.5", softcover
Edition size unknown

The first English translation of La société du spectacle. The original was published three years prior and was quickly considered a seminal, canonical text for the Situationist movement.

"In late 1967, Debord published Society of the Spectacle: 221 theses on social life as a show that rendered all men and women, even those who staged the play, passive spectators and consumers of their estrangement from their own words, gestures, acts and desires. It was a severe, Hegelian treatise. But somehow, perhaps simply in the incisive cruelty of its prose (‘All that was once directly lived has become mere representation ... In a world that has really been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood’), the book was also pop: the ideas moved with the same implacable momentum the Rolling Stones would find a year later in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. Society of the Spectacle was discovered, trumpeted, damned and celebrated as the signal text of the student and workers’ uprising in France in May 1968; discovered in the midst of that unshaped revolt, and especially after it, the book lasted."

"...A polemical and prescient indictment of our image-saturated consumer culture. The book examines the “Spectacle,” Debord’s term for the everyday manifestation of capitalist-driven phenomena; advertising, television, film, and celebrity."

- Tiernan Morgan & Lauren Purje, Hyperallergic

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