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Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... fashion, film, graphics and display have begun to dissolve. The ‘society of the spectacle’, as Guy Debord dubbed it in the Sixties, has engulfed every facet of visual communication. At the same time, the speed and scope of communication have intensified so that images of every type are disseminated much more rapidly, both within what remain of ...

Who Whips Whom

Leland de la Durantaye: Sade, 19 February 2015

Justine et autres romans 
by D.A.F. de Sade, edited by Michel Delon and Jean Deprun.
Gallimard, 1152 pp., €60, October 2014, 978 2 07 014669 7
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... and a film series presenting adaptations of Sade’s works by Buñuel, von Stroheim, Pasolini, Guy Debord, Peter Brook and Nagisa Oshima. Meanwhile, the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade has published its fourth volume of Sade, a lavish 1150-page edition of the great erotic writings: 120 Days of Sodom, Philosophy in the Bedroom and Justine. The works span ...

A Rage for Abstraction

Jeremy Harding, 16 June 2016

The Other Paris: An Illustrated Journey through a City’s Poor and Bohemian Past 
by Luc Sante.
Faber, 306 pp., £25, November 2015, 978 0 571 24128 6
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How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Allen Lane, 427 pp., £20, June 2015, 978 1 84614 602 2
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... 1981 movie, Le Pont du Nord, are waving goodbye, along with the two keynote Situationists, Guy Debord and Raoul Vaneigem. The Other Paris is also an elegy to a lost era of rebelliousness. The hold-all counter-culture that Sante commemorates – including muggers and writers, painters and thieves, drunks and austere revolutionaries – is no longer ...

What the Twist Did for the Peppermint Lounge

Dave Haslam: Club culture, 6 January 2000

Adventures in Wonderland: A Decade of Club Culture 
by Sheryl Garratt.
Headline, 335 pp., £7.99, May 1999, 0 7472 7680 3
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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey 
by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton.
Headline, 408 pp., £14.99, November 1999, 0 7472 7573 4
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Saturday Night For Ever: The Story of Disco 
by Alan Jones and Jussi Kantonen.
Mainstream, 223 pp., £9.99, April 1999, 9781840181777
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DJ Culture 
by Ulf Poschardt.
Quartet, 473 pp., £13, January 1999, 0 7043 8098 6
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Energy Flash: A Journey through Rave Music and Dance Culture 
by Simon Reynolds.
Picador, 493 pp., £12.99, July 1998, 0 330 35056 0
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More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction 
by Kodwo Eshun.
Quartet, 208 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 7043 8025 0
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... without the supposed gravitas or intellectual kudos provided by references to Adorno, Benjamin and Guy Debord. Unnecessarily, Poschardt also insists on invoking Pink Floyd as a touchstone for the progressive and creative: the group gets 17 mentions in a book about DJs (more than Paul Oakenfold, Todd Terry, Grooverider, Sasha and Derrick May put ...

The Castaway

Jeremy Harding: Algeria’s Camus, 4 December 2014

Algerian Chronicles 
by Albert Camus, edited by Alice Kaplan, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Harvard, 224 pp., £11.95, November 2014, 978 0 674 41675 8
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Camus brûlant 
by Benjamin Stora and Jean-Baptiste Péretié.
Stock, 109 pp., €12.50, September 2013, 978 2 234 07482 8
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Meursault, contre-enquête 
by Kamel Daoud.
Actes Sud, 155 pp., €19, May 2014, 978 2 330 03372 9
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... party to dissolve). The PCF, on the contrary, had voted for the ‘special powers’ proposed by Guy Mollet’s government, which effectively handed the running of Algeria to the French military in 1956. And here was a rare irony in the uninflected fight Camus had picked. When he’d been a communist in the 1930s he’d grasped that the French party line was ...

Jottings, Scraps and Doodles

Adam Shatz: Lévi-Strauss, 3 November 2011

Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory 
by Patrick Wilcken.
Bloomsbury, 375 pp., £30, November 2011, 978 0 7475 8362 2
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... shattered by the événements of May 1968. Student radicals turned for wisdom to Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord and Sartre, and anti-structuralist graffiti appeared on the walls of the Sorbonne. Disgusted by the protests, Lévi-Strauss withdrew from the Collège until they were over. ‘I walked inside the occupied Sorbonne,’ he said, ‘with an ...

Slumming with Rappers at the Roxy

Hal Foster: Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook, 21 September 2000

Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture 
by John Seabrook.
Methuen, 215 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 0 413 74470 1
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... at a loss of $12 million a year – a high price-tag for respectability, even for a mega-rich guy. Newhouse wanted both respectability and profitability, and turned to Robert Gottlieb, editor-in-chief at Knopf (US publisher of Nobrow, for those keeping score), as the man to make this cocktail swirl. In a retrospect that is easy but exact, Seabrook sees ...

The Frisson

Will Self, 23 January 2014

The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes 
by Patrick Keiller.
Verso, 218 pp., £14.99, November 2013, 978 1 78168 140 4
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... difference, as I understand it, between what they were doing then and what we do now is that for Debord and his contemporaries psychogeography, the dérive and so on, were preliminary to the creation of some revolutionary new space, something like that envisaged as New Babylon. I don’t detect anything like this in the more recent activity, which seems to ...

Serious Mayhem

Simon Reynolds: The McLaren Strand, 10 March 2022

The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren: The Biography 
by Paul Gorman.
Constable, 855 pp., £14.99, November 2021, 978 1 4721 2111 0
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... McLaren would have picked up the Situationist sensibility not by reading – the main texts, Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle for one, weren’t available in English translation until the 1970s – but by fraternising with King Mob and seeing photographs of the thought-bomb graffiti that proliferated in Paris in May 1968. Some of these ...

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