Baudrillard: dead or signifying death?

Haw! From the New English Review‘s interminably long blog (which was itself lifted from a NY Sun obit):

Jean Baudrillard, who died yesterday in Paris at 77, was an author and philosopher whose postmodern books, in the best café tradition, questioned objective reality and suggested that consumer culture was replacing it with what he labeled “hyperreality” and “simulation.”

[. . .]

In America, Baudrillard received notoriety for his writings on the attacks of September 11, 2001, and on the Gulf War, which, his 1991 book claimed, did not take place. His point was not that bombs were not dropped nor troops not deployed, but that these things were done not so much to fight war as to signify war. The argument was perhaps too subtle for either side in the conflict to appreciate fully.

I love it. Here’s something I can imagine Subcomandante Marcos laughing at:

In 2005, while in New York for a reading from his book “The Conspiracy of Art,” he told the New Yorker, “All America is Disneyland.” Fond of touring the heartland, for many years he had seen himself as something of a modernday de Tocqueville and had published the book ” America” in 1986.

Not everyone was convinced. “Every time he sees a silo he starts going into some French theory,” Andrei Codrescu, another foreign-born writer with some pretensions to seeing America with an outsider’s eye, once complained.

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2 Responses to “Baudrillard: dead or signifying death?”

  1. Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos Says:

    Thanks for posting this, Curly. Being a truly postmodern revolutionary figure, I have cited Baudrillard in the past. Weaving an intricate tapestry of my own observations of the Arabian Nights theme at Irvine Spectrum with the keen intellect of Baudrillard, I noted the death knells of the hyperreal in a 2001 paper. So, I suppose that I out-Baudrillarded Baudrillard! Wow, I am really smart, in a non-signified kind of way… But, is it Art?

  2. Curly Says:

    No, but it signifies Art. That’s really all that hyper-matters.

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