Simulacra and Simulation
The first full-length translation in English of an essential work of postmodernism.
The publication of Simulacra et Simulation in 1981 marked Jean Baudrillard's first important step toward theorizing the postmodern. Moving away from the Marxist/Freudian approaches that had concerned him earlier, Baudrillard developed in this book a theory of contemporary culture that relies
"Some authors have a gift of being able to explain complex matters in simple terms. Baudrillard, on the other hand, seems to have the complete opposite - explaining essentially simple (although nontheless interesting) concepts in overly complex terms. While the core message of his essays is thought provoking and engaging, the text itself is so full of jargon, unnecessarily convoluted language, and a fair amount of repetition. If y...more
There are indeed very interesting and sound theories contained within this book. With that said, these theories are mired in layer upon layer of pretentiousness, gobbledygook ("officialese") and Baudrillard's penchant for repeating himself paragraph after paragraph for chapters on end. It all makes for an extremely burdensome and frustrating read. This is unfortunately always the case with postmodernists (Derrida and F...more
I kind of loathe postmodernism. I find it to be polite nihilism at it's very best, a type of free floating responsibility remover that would make Dionysus go "DAMN" at worst. But out of all the boring, meaning free, jackassery I've had to read this semester, Bauldrillard's has been the least gorge rising.
Last of The Existentialists Right here baby.
Seriously, I found this pretty interesting, even if I didn't understand some of the meanderings that took you down dark academic alleyways.
Do we live a copy of a truth; do we strive to fulfil, and conform to, an ideal that belies its origin?
Baudrillard does not beat about the bush; bleak, grim, but to-the-point he sketches the construct which is taken for reality; a parody preferred abo...more
I'd give this book a 2, but the concept of society embracing and living in simulations (and disimulation, which is possibly the more intriguing of the two concepts)...more
If we were able to view the Borges fable in which the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up covering the territory exactly (the decline of the Empire witnesses the fraying of this map, little by little, and its fall into ruins, though some shreds are still discernible in the deserts—the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction testifying to a pride...more
He starts off strong, putting forth some stunning ideas while taking on God, Disneyland, Watergate, journalism, cinema, and advertising. He starts to stumble when he moves on to technology, and totally loses his thread when he tries to bring in sexuality, animals, and his ridiculous gender politics. He finishes by writing about the subje...more
Okay, aside from that, I really liked this book. Much more entertaining than is the norm for poststructuralist theory: the little passage about theme parks ringing Los Angeles like power stations will stick with me for a while, like a tidbit from a favorite novel. Most of the content here isn't the sort that you can take away and use to live your life, but it's fun and relevant in a vague way. It's weird to s...more
That said, it does make a good precis of some Baudrillard's key ideas, and it's reasonably straightforward about a mass-democracy late-capitalist mass-media world's view of what constitutes the socially real. So--- worth reading, and worth having....more
I knew the following before I started reading: you have to work with the text in order to understand it.
What stuns me so much about this text is that it was written in 1981, and so many of its concepts apply to our world today. Jean Baudrillard precipitates everything from precursors to Facebook in discussing social practices, the “war” on terrorism, reality TV, surveillance, and many other things. So many of the practices and models in this text explain how our society is structured today.
"… Los Angeles is surrounded by these imaginary stations that feed reality, the energy of the real to a city whose mystery is precisely that of no longer being anything but a network of incessant, unreal circulation—a city of incred...more
Although, that which is now deemed a phantasm plaguing society from ever experiencing any form of evolution again, it has become a new "reality" embraced by the...more
"Hypermarket and Hypercommodity"
"The Implosion of Meaning in the Media"
p.80 "Information devours its own co...more
While the book's ideas and concepts are fascinating, easy to follow, and fairly relevant to our lives, it might be hard to read this whole book because Baudrillard does...more
Jean Baudrillard was also a Professor of Philosophy of Culture and Media Criticism at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where he taught an Intensive Summer S...more