The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles
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The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  7 reviews
"The Culture of the Copy" is an unprecedented attempt to make sense of our Western fascination with replicas, duplicates, and twins. In a work that is breathtaking in both its synthetic and critical achievements, Hillel Schwartz charts the repercussions of our entanglement with copies of all kinds, whose presence alternately sustains and overwhelms us.
Paperback, 566 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Zone Books (NY) (first published 1996)
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Richard
An enjoyably written and beautifully illustrated compendium of anecdotes on twins, copying, human nature, authenticity, and fakes. Hillel Schwartz is an excellent writer. His sentences are clever (if sometimes corny) and enjoyable as language before you even process the information - which is encyclopedic in scope and often artfully connected. Unfortunately, while the individual entries are interesting, there isn't much over-arching analysis of them - of how they fit together, and what they say...more
Caspere
Dec 17, 2007 Caspere rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: All Doppelgangers
This book is a tragically neglected study of the culture of reproduction, facsimile, simulacra, simulation, et cetera.

If anyone is interested in vanishing twins, automatons, golems, mimicry, Frankenstein's monster, contemporary visual culture/critique (Im talking about you Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Doug Crimp, and Johnathan Crary), citicism of the mass-produced culture (the youngins all over and their Forefathers/mothers the MAI 68ers), or anything dealing with contemporary philosophy (yea, y...more
Mike
I first read Schwartz's odd but very engaging book for an art history course and have returned to it often since. It's lengthy and ranging in its foci yet the uniting theme is the idea of a "copy", which runs the spectrum in this book from actual copies to fakes (fake people, impostors, faked works of art) to twins to means for making electronic or physical copies of visual information. The author's prime interest is how duplicity and authenticity function in contemporary culture and have throug...more
Ian
Jan 05, 2014 Ian is currently reading it
"Why, if advertisers resort to identical twinship for its implicit oracular power, did the estimable gift of prophecy fall so overwhelmingly to identical twin women? Because advertising has become our sibylline medium, for deciphering our dreams, telling us who we are and what we should be doing. Because the intuitiveness, the communitarian sensitivity, the ecstasies of the oracular are qualities linked more tightly to women than to men ever since the Greeks found their Fates and sibyls. Because...more
Jimmy
The unavoidable influence of Walter Benjamin's essay "Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" is openly admitted at the end of chapter three entitled "Self-Portraits".

"Walter Benjamin, a theorist who for some readers must have been lurking behind each of these pages, did not say it best when he said that through replication the original has lost its aura...What withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is not the aura, the Happen-Stance, of works of art but the assurance of our ow...more
Mira
Again, one of those things you come across that turn out to be a surprise. Thought it was going to be straight-out postmodern theory but turned out it tracks the history of everything from copying (in publishing, industry, culture), doppelgangers, and freak-shows to pre-celebrity tricksters and turn-o-the-century identity theft.
mahatma
tidak semua bagian sy butuhkan. bagian2 ttg fenomen kembar siam aku lewati, tapi ttg hubungan antara copydan originality itu menarik (bab VI-VII-VIII):
"the copy will transcend the original"
"replications as means to arrive at the truth"
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