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Guy Debord
Guy Debord

Guy Debord

By Anselm Jappe, Foreword by T.J. Clark, Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

224 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Trade Paper, $21.95 (US $21.95) (CA $29.95)

Publication Date: March 2018

ISBN 9781629634494

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

PM Press (Mar 2018)

eBook

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Overview

This is the first intellectual biography of Guy Debord, prime mover of the Situationist International (1957–1972) and author of The Society of the Spectacle, the seminal book of the May 1968 uprising in France. Anselm Jappe offers a powerful corrective to the continual attempts to incorporate Debord's theoretical work into "French theory." Jappe focuses, to the contrary, on Debord's debt to the Hegelian-Marxist tradition, to Karl Korsch and Georg Lukács, and more generally to left-Marxist currents of council communism. His close reading of Debord's magnum opus is unique among the great flood of writing on the Situationists in recent decades. This PM reprint edition benefits from a new author's preface and a bibliographical update.

Reviews

"A clear-headed account . . . far and away the best we have so far." —Times Literary Supplement 

"The only book on Debord in either French or English that can be unreservedly recommended . . . particularly useful for its extensive treatment of the Marxian connection that is usually ignored in culture-oriented accounts of the Situationists." —Ken Knabb, editor of Situationist International Anthology

"Jappe successfully gets to grips with the content of Debord's and the SI's activity in a way that is accessible and doesn't require a vast amount of prior knowledge or an extensive vocabulary of obscure jargon in order to understand it. Debord has got a somewhat undeserved reputation for having an impenetrable and complex writing style—a myth which Jappe goes a long way towards refuting by examining the major concepts in Society of the Spectacle and other works, and putting them in the context of a wider historical basis and in terms of the SI as a whole." —Do or Die

"Political writing is always instrumental as well as utopian. Debord's is no exception. Only sometimes writing has to reconcile itself to the idea that its time of instrumentality—its time as a weapon—lies a little in the future. Jappe's book is true to its subject, above all, because it reads Debord, and helps us read him, with that future in mind." —T.J. Clark, from the Foreword

Author Biography

Anselm Jappe currently teaches art history and political and economic theory at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris and at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Sassari in Sardinia. His essays have been published in the collection The Writing on the Wall: On the Decomposition of Capitalism and Its Critics. T.J. Clark is a British art historian and writer, who has taught in universities such as Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Donald Nicholson-Smith's translations include works by Jean Piaget, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Guy Debord, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Henri Lefebvre, and Raoul Vaneigem. As a young man he was a member of the Situationist International in Paris and a comrade-in-arms of Guy Debord's.