The Ecstasy of Communication

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Semiotext(e), 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 87 pages
7 Reviews

"The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say, becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say, just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning."--from The Ecstasy of Communication

First published in France in 1987, The Ecstasy of Communication was Baudrillard's summarization of his work for a postdoctoral degree at the Sorbonne: a dense, poetically crystalline essay that boiled down two decades of radical, provocative theory into an aphoristically eloquent swan song to twentieth-century alienation. Baudrillard's quixotic effort to be recognized by the French intellectual establishment may have been doomed to failure, but this text immediately became a pinnacle to his work, a mid-career assessment that looked both forward and back. By carefully distilling the most radical elements of his previous books, Baudrillard constructed the skeleton key to all of the work that was to come in the second half of his career, and set the scene for what he termed the "obscene": a world in which alienation has been succeeded by ceaseless communication and information. The Ecstasy of Communication is a decisive, compact description of what it means to be "wired" in our braver-than-brave new world, where sexuality has been superseded by pornography, knowledge by information, hysteria by schizophrenia, subject by object, and violence by terror.

The Ecstasy of Communication is an anti-manifesto that confronted and dispensed with such influences as Marshall McLuhan, Guy Debord, and Georges Bataille. It is an essential crib-book, lexicon, and companion piece to any and all of Baudrillard's books. Twenty-five years after its original publication, it remains not only a prescient portrait of our contemporary condition, but also a dark mirror into which we have not yet dared to look.

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Review: The Ecstasy of Communication (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)

User Review  - Jacob - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book. Baudrillard's perspective can be taken as extreme, but his points are eye-opening and gave me a lot to think about in the days after. His ideas about technology and its ... Read full review

Review: The Ecstasy of Communication (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

I enjoyed it, but it is a rambling of esoteric psych/socio-babble... read through it in an afternoon, so it was an easy read. Read full review

About the author (2012)

Jean Baudrillard (1929--2007) was a philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, and theorist of postmodernity who challenged all existing theories of contemporary society with humor and precision. An outsider in the French intellectual establishment, he was internationally renowned as a twenty-first century visionary, reporter, and provocateur.

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