It is important whether or not the reader ultimately decides that Maltsev’s Baudrillard is closer to the texts and/or more useful than the standard version… Today, writing a work such as this takes a lot of courage, original thought, and preparedness to stake one’s name on determinate truth-claims in a way that most critical academics will not.
Oleg Maltsev, Lucien Oulahbib
Jean Baudrillard. The last and the most eminent mastermind of the twentieth century. People like him are born once in a hundred years, and today perhaps, such novelty is witnessed even more rarely. The contemporary interest in the works of Baudrillard during his lifetime was manifested in different ways, from crooked smiles to careful attention and fascination.
When discussing the visualization of American Cities, I argued that Jean Baudrillard reserved a special place for American cities that are, for want of better terminology, an urban je ne sais quoi. In other more or less European places one could find assembled the same social and physical elements.
Alan N. Shapiro
The media theorist and semiotician Jean Baudrillard developed Guy Debord’s notion of the society of the spectacle even further into his theory of simulation, simulacra, and hyper-reality. Baudrillard’s most celebrated book is his 1981 volume Simulacra and Simulation, where he famously wrote about the map preceding the territory, and about Disneyland existing to conceal the fact that all of America is Disneyland.
In Baudrillard’s postmodern world, individuals flee from the “desert of the real” for the ecstasies of hyperreality and the new realm of computer, media, and technological experience. In this universe, subjectivities are fragmented and lost, and a new terrain of experience appears, which for Baudrillard renders previous social theories and politics obsolete and irrelevant.
While a definition of consumer society already existed before Baudrillard, it was the French philosopher who comprehensively studied this phenomenon and outlined its social, economic and anthropological role. The concept of “consumer society” was first used in the 1960s. Serge Latouche attributes this to the scholar Jean Marie Dominique. However, Jean Marie Dominique’s writings, particularly the definition of “consumer society,” were not popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
In this universe, subjectivities are fragmented and lost, and a new terrain of experience appears, which for Baudrillard renders previous social theories and politics obsolete and irrelevant.