Critique of everyday life, Volume 3
The Critique of Everyday Lifeis perhaps the richest, most prescient work by one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers. A historian and sociologist, Lefebvre developed his ideas over seven decades through intellectual confrontation with figures as diverse as Bergson, Breton, Sartre, Debord and Althusser. Written at the birth of postwar consumerism, though only now translated into English, theCritiqueis a book of enormous range and subtlety. Lefebvre takes as his starting point and guide the "trivial" details of quotidian experience: an experience colonized by the commodity, shadowed by inauthenticity, yet which remains the only source of resistance and change. Whether he is exploring the commercialization of sex or the disappearance of rural festivities, analyzing Hegel or Charlie Chaplin, Lefebvre always returns to the ubiquity of alienation, the necessity of revolt. This is an enduringly radical book, untimely today only in its intransigence and optimism. This third volume of theCritique of Everyday Lifecompletes Lefebvre's monumental project. It seeks to shed light on changes inscribed within everyday life, and at the same time to reveal certain virtualities of the everyday, taking into account the crisis of modernity but also the decisive assertion of technological modernism.