Jean Baudrillard’s last book was about America. His new one is about cats, Foucault, Alfa Romeas, leukemia, Catholicism, the Berlin Wall, mattresses, Laurent Fabius, Jean-Paul II, roses, Antarctica, Lech Walesa, mud wrestling, Zinoviev, porn films, snow, feminism, Rio, Jacques Lacan, Stevie Wonder, Palermo, DNA and terrorism.
“Cool Memories is the other side of America, the disillusioned side, presented in the form of a diary, though not in the classical sense. I’m trying to grasp a world in all its silences and its brutality. Can you grasp a world when you’re no longer tied to it by some kind of ideological enthusiasm, or by traditional passions? Can things “tell” themselves through stories and fragments? These are some of the questions posed in a book which may seem melancholic. But then I think almost every diary is melancholic. Melancholy is in the very state of things.”
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Jean Baudrillard is widely recognized as one of the most important and provocative writers of our age. This book is the third (after his acclaimed America and Cool Memories) in a series of personal records in hyper-reality. Here Baudrillard casts his net widely and brings in autobiographical memories and further reflections on America, the crisis of cultural production, new ideas in fiction-theory, and the "verbal fornication" of the postmodern.
His wide-ranging discussion of events and their relationship to theory moves between poetry and waterfalls, strikes and Stealth bombers, Freud and la Cicciolina, shadows and simulacra, deconstruction and the zodiac, Reagan's smile and Kennedy's death, the "curse" on South America and the future of the West, the last tango of French intellectual life and the exemplary disappearing act of Italian politics.
About the Author:
Idiosyncratic, outrageous, brilliantly original, Cool Memories II will be required reading by anyone concerned with the debates about postmodernism and the current state of theory on the social sciences and humanities.
Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) began teaching sociology at the Université de Paris-X in 1966. He retired from academia in 1987 to write books and travel until his death in 2007. His many works include Simulations and Simulacra, America, The Perfect Crime, The System of Objects, Passwords, The Transparency of Evil, The Spirit of Terrorism, and Fragments, among others.
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