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Seduction (Culture Texts) Paperback – January 15, 1991


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Seduction, in French thinker Baudrillard's apocalyptic discourse, is a power of attraction and fascination capable of subverting mechanical, orgasm-centered sexuality and reality in general. Two chief obstacles to unleashing the potentially liberating forces of seduction are the women's movement and psychoanalysis, charges the author of America and Forget Foucault. While recognizing that seduction has a negative side--turning the seduced person away from his/her true thoughts and impulses--Baudrillard is intrigued by the seductive processes at work in the vertigo induced by games, in magic and the lottery, in the transvestite's "total gestural, sensual and ritual" behavior. He decodes pornography as "an orgy of realism," a hyperreality of signs. In his analysis, seduction has itself been corrupted in a world of manufactured desires and ready-made satisfactions. With seductive irony, Baudrillard storms the fragile phallic fortress of patriarchy in this heady, sometimes obscure meditation.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

If a state of exasperation, a thwarting of expectation, and a teasing of the imagination are sufficient response to a book that bafflingly evades all of the flexible nomenclature of literary classification, then Seduction has been successful. It is not science, if science is clear thinking from carefully ascertained facts. It is not art, for Baudrillard writes a prose--in translation at least (the book was first published in France in 1979)--that has neither intelligibility nor music. The author of America ( LJ 1/89) had an opportunity to inform and enlighten us on the various roles the art and act of seduction play in our lives, but his arguments are vitiated by the lack of a coherent point of view and by diffuseness. To read the book takes much more effort than the average reader is likely to give.
- A. J. Anderson, Graduate Sch. of Library & Information Science, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Texts
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; English ed edition (January 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312052944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312052942
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) was a French philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer most associated with the “Postmodern” movement.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1979 book, “A fixed destiny weighs on seduction. For religion seduction was a strategy of the devil, whether in the guise of witchcraft of love. It is always seduction of evil---or of the world. It is the very artifice of the world… Seduction, however, never belongs to the order of nature, but that of artifice---never to the order of energy, but that of signs and rituals… Seduction continues to appear to all orthodoxies as malefice and artifice, a black magic for the deviation of all truths… This is why all disciplines … must try to exorcise it. This is where seduction and femininity are confounded, indeed, confused. Masculinity has always been haunted by the sudden reversibility within the feminine. Seduction and femininity are ineluctable as the reverse side of sex, meaning and power… We are entering the era of final solutions; for example, that of the sexual revolution… Ending seduction. Or else the triumph of a soft seduction, a white, diffuse feminization and eroticization of all relations in an enervated social universe. Or else none of the above. For nothing can be greater than seduction itself, not even the order that destroys it.”

He says in the first chapter, “There is an alternative to sex and to power, one that psychoanalysis cannot know because its axiomatics are sexual. And yes, this alternative is undoubtedly of the order of the feminine, understood outside the opposition masculine/feminine, that opposition being essentially masculine, sexual in intention, and incapable of being overturned without ceasing to exist. This strength of the feminine is that of seduction.
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32 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this book, Baudrillard develops his own theory in various fields from sex, Freud, Kierkegaard, to politics in the theme of gseductionh. Probably, this book is written to be seduction. At the same time, we can see Baudrillardfs general attitude toward his works including this book: Prediction, warning, and seduction. He seems to learn a lot of things from Kierkegaardfs works. In the first part, he maintains his own theory on sex against Freud, which is different from feministsf theory based on sexual difference. It is interesting that he almost predicts todayfs situation of sex, which is why his works always seduce people. Moreover, I am impressed by his comments on Japanese striptease and by his idea that Japanese sexual culture is different from Western one. Through chapters, his point that seduction is fatal to itself appears continuously in his skillful rhetoric: The style of this book is similar to his gSimulacra and Simulationh, which is a good guidebook to read this book.
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