Thursday, July 26, 2007

Baudrillard needs to be re-read and re-engaged

Baudrillard needs to be re-read and re-engaged, I think. He is too often folded into Deleuzian readings or "corrected" by Zizekian analysis, as if Baudrillard hadn't already laid out thorough, nuanced, and rather impressive criticisms of the internal heuristic limits of both the desiring machine and psychoanalysis. He is said to ignore class conditions and the necessity of Marxist critique, as well as the reality of suffering, even as he spends entire books detailing his objections to Marxism and essay after essay explaining the role of the reality-principle in the portrayal of suffering.
He is declared a (bad) nihilist and a misogynist, as if he never accounted for and addressed criticism of his work after the 80s, and as if he never further extended and enriched his analysis. That this sort of short-thrift, simulation-via-assumption engagement has become so commonplace, and that it confirms much of his take-down of critical theory, should hardly be surprising. If anything, it seems banal, perhaps even oafish, to take note of it. Nevertheless... Tags: Posted on July 25, 2007 5:18 PM

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