1st out of 8 books — 2 voters
Situationist International Anthology
by Ken Knabb
Literary Nonfiction. Politics. Critical Theory. Art. In 1957 a few European avant-garde groups came together to form the Situationist International. Picking up where the dadaists and surrealists had left off, the situationists challenged people's passive conditioning with carefully calculated scandals and the playful tactic of detournement. Seeking a more extreme social re...more
Paperback, 532 pages
Published April 28th 2007 by Bureau of Public Secrets
(first published 2002)
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Jan 27, 2012 Malcolm rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
The Situationists occupy a key place in 20th century politics - not because they were all the big or all that successful in their political actions, but because they sit in a nexus that links art, culture and political activism, link to punk, surrealism and anarchism, and have become romanticised as a vital force in the excessively romanticised events in Paris in May 1968. Their political critiques of consumer life, of urban realities and power, and their notion of the the 'situation' as a polit...more
This is one of the most important books ever made, because the SI was one of the most important artistic/political movements of all time. I return to this endlessly, and the subtlety of the thought it contains never ceases to amaze. Not to mention, there's so much practical advice! "Theory of the Dérive" has one of the most important essays in my life.
this anthology is one of the best looks at the situationists, their methods, their critiques, and their understandings, that is extant today. While i didn't like knabbs introduction to the text, in that he used it as a platform to discuss why other translations were terrible, rather that discussing the what and why of the group itself, it is still one of the best looks at the group i have ever seen.
I was reading this during 911. Interesting that it's a scathing critique of consumer society. Good, complex and long collection of treatises and seminars and international meetings of the group from the mid to late 20th century.
Ken Knabb (b. 1945) is an American radical writer and translator, particularly known for his translations of Guy Debord and the Situationist International. His works include The Relevance of Rexroth (1990), the Situationist International Anthology (1981), and the collection Public Secrets (1997). More recently, Knabb has written extensively on the Occupy movement. He holds a bachelor's degree fro...moreMore about Ken Knabb...