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The Society Of The Spectacle Paperback – February 23, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
There are free PDFs of a better translation of this book ALL OVER the internet. It's a tremendously wonderful book, but this translation just doesn't do it justice. Don't waste your money on this.
But did I say "the individual"? Even a cursory glance at contemporary society reveals few genuine individuals. The image of individuality is marketed & sold, of course, so that everyone feels special & singular; but the end result always seems to be people who are "individuals" just like millions of others, all believing themselves to be unique. Yet they all buy the same lifestyle, the same ideas, the same Pavlovian responses to their environment, just as they've been perfectly programmed to do. Oh, there's a gloss of superficial variation, to enhance the notion of individuality! But as for the real thing? The few who don't buy into the image are those derided as freaks, outsiders, uncool, etc.
Let's face it -- even the ideas expressed in this review can & have been commodified, marketed & sold to plenty of people. That's how insidious & pervasive the society of the spectacle really is. We are everywhere faced with a shiny, trendy, relentlessly cheerful image designed to flatter & ensnare us in its meshes.Read more ›
I ordered this version because it was the least expensive. The publisher is Black & Red, and the translator is not named.
Use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature to compare this edition to the Donald Nicholson-Smith translation (which is available free online as a 64 page .pdf Adobe Acrobat file), and you'll see what I mean.
I called Amazon's customer service because I didn't know what reason to give for the return ("Lousy Translation"?). As usual, they were very helpful, e-mailed me a return label, and gave me an instant refund, so I'm sending this edition back to them.
You'll just have to deal with the irony of _buying_ this, considering its contents.
Such a society rejects any promises to those whom it entices. It's free of illusions, as it's cynical. "The spectacle is the bad dream of modern society in chains and ultimately expresses nothing more than its wish for sleep." Commodity fetishes produce "habitual submission." Even those who free themselves from Marxist dogma and try to assert anarchism, Debord warns, are isolated when the time comes for "collective decision making." A minority trying to lead a pre-revolutionary struggle is not the same as a "postrevolutionary society of free individuals." Debord later affirms workers' councils as the best solution. He glances at this more than analyzes it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A key text of our time. Clear as a bell. Don't try to define Postmodernism without it.Published 2 months ago by Jim Blake, Jr.
Cheap and insightful, sometimes turns repetitive or takes too much to get into the point.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Something must have been lost in the translation. The word spectacle doesn't seem to fit what the author is describing?Published 4 months ago by dante
Just as important today as when it was written of not more so.Published 4 months ago by fernando pena
This book presents a simple premise about our society inundated by media hype and cultural manipulation, but the author makes it stiflingly unreadable by an obtuse writing style... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kenneth P. Richard
WE ARE ALL UNDER THE EVER WATCHING EYE OF THE BIGGEST OF ALL BROTHERSPublished 11 months ago by gcd