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Situationist International Anthology

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  645 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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 March 1st 2007 by Bureau of Public Secrets (first published 2002)
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Malcolm
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
A. D. Jameson
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Gregory Sotir
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Whenever I become uninspired, all I have to do is pick it up and start reading. A great mix of arrogant self-philosophizing and creative energy. Detournement changed my whole way of looking at creative acts.
Joe Donohue
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
The best part is the end where the journalists attempt to explain what was happening in France during the May 1968 events. The Americans were unmatched in their ignorance. They thought that the riots were caused by situational ethics -- as if a psychological topic could cause riots. The American press was writing confidently about matters that were beyond them.

It just goes to show you: the more you know a topic, the less you will like the press coverage of it.
Rheuben Bundy
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Tedopon
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: you
Shelves: social
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.
Tosh
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-bought
This is the one to get for those who want to step into the world of the Situationists. I took this book with me to Japan as well. I sort of kept it as 'my' bible of sorts. A fascinating document of a certain time that is still with us.
Boozebabyexperience
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
not to over use the phrase in a positive manner, but this book is a slap in the face.
Amir Merksamer
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
nice introduction to SI
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  • Guy Debord and the Situationist International: Texts and Documents
  • The Revolution of Everyday Life
  • The Situationist City
  • The Society of the Spectacle
  • The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths
  • Critique of Everyday Life
  • Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography
  • Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide
  • Pure War (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)
  • The Coming Insurrection
  • Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1, 1913-1926
  • Introduction to Civil War
  • The Spectacle of Disintegration: Situationist Passages out of the Twentieth Century
  • The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?
  • Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century
  • Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays
  • The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935
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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 fr ...more
More about Ken Knabb...
“Beauty, when it is not a promise of happiness, must be destroyed.” 1 likes
“The direct transfer of artistic gifts is impossible; artistic adaptation takes place through a series of contradictory phases: Shock — Wonder — Imitation — Rejection — Experimentation — Possession.” 1 likes
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