Impossible Exchange

Front Cover
Verso, 2001 - Philosophy - 151 pages
8 Reviews
The uncertainty of the world lies in the fact that it has no equivalent anywhere; it cannot be exchanged for anything. The uncertainty of thought lies in the fact that it cannot be exchanged either for truth or for reality.

Jean Baudrillard's now familiar investigations into reality and hyper-reality shift here into a more metaphysical frame. Working his way through the various spheres and systems of everyday life—the political, the juridical, the economical, the aesthetic, the biological, among others—he finds that they are all characterized by the same non-equivalence, and hence the same eccentricity. Literally, they have no meaning outside themselves and cannot be exchanged for anything. Politics is laden with signs and meanings, but seen from the outside it has no meaning. Schemes for genetic experimentation and investigation are becoming infinitely ramified, and the more ramified they become the more the crucial question is left unanswered: who rules over life, who rules over death?

Baudrillard's conclusion is that the true formula of contemporary nihilism lies here: the nihilism of value itself. This is our fate, and from this stem both the happiest and the most baleful consequences. This book might be said to be the exploration, first, of the 'fateful' consequences, and subsequently—by a poetic transference of situation—of the fortunate, happy consequences of impossible exchange.
  

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Review: Impossible Exchange

User Review  - Lix Chvz - Goodreads

Everything flows and then exists in both ways... and anything can[not] happen in the space-time-whatever in between... Read full review

Review: Impossible Exchange

User Review  - JW - Goodreads

Impossible Exchange is exemplary "late" Baudrillard. ... it has a slick coffee table appeal; one could imagine it perching unobtrusively on the expensive glass-topped surface of a yuppie coffee table, a signifier of culture for those who Baudrillard is actively writing against. Read full review

Contents

The Final Solution or The Revenge of the Immortals
26
Useless Functions
40
The Dice Man
58
The Flow of Change The Cycle of Becoming
77
Dual Principle Single Principle Antagonistic Principle
90
Dissociated Society Parallel Society
103
Singularity of the Phantasm
122
Literalness of the Image
139
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

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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