Jean Baudrillard (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

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Jean Baudrillard (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

JEAN BAUDRILLARD A controversial figure in th e realms of th eory and cultural studies, Jean Baudrillard is never witho

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JEAN BAUDRILLARD

A controversial figure in th e realms of th eory and cultural studies, Jean Baudrillard is never without int er est. But how do we make sense of his wilder statem ents about th e postmodern world he claims we all inhabit ? How do we situate his writing in relation to Fren ch th ought? This book guide s th e read er through Baudrillard's work, from his first publication to his lat er postrnodcrn state me nts. Richard J. Lane offers an impressively clear introduction to key aspects of Baudrillard's thought, from his reworking of Marxism through to his th eories on technology, primitivism, simulation and th e hyp erreal , Am erica and th e postmodern. Throughout th e volume, ideas are considere d in relation to th e social and int ell ectual conte xts in which Baudrillard worked , and special atte ntion is paid to th e ongoing narratives of Fren ch and postmod ern th ought. An exte nsively ann otated bibliogr aphy of primary and sec ondar y texts prepar es th e stude nt read er for furth er encounte rs with Baudrillard's work. Tracing a sure path through oft en co mplex writings ,jean Baudrillard is th e perfect companion for those newly approa ching this key con te mporary thinker .

Ric hard J. Lane is senior lecturer in postcolonial th eory, dram a and lit erature at South Bank Univ ersity, London . He has published widely in th ese area s, with special emphasis upon Canadian lit erature. He is also co -director of Th e London N etwork for Modern Fiction Studi es.

ROUTLEDGE CRITICAL THINKERS essential guides for literary studies Series Edit or: Robert Eagleston e, Royal Holloway, Univers ity of London Rou tledge Critica l Tbinkers is a seri es of accessible introductions to key figur es in con te m porar y critical thought.

With a unique focus on historical and intellectual con tex ts, each volume exam ine s a key th eorist's: • • • •

significanc e motivation key ideas and th eir sources impact on othe r thinkers .

Concluding with exte nsively annotate d guide s to furth er reading, Routledge Cri tical Tbinkers are th e literat ure student's passport to today's

most exciting critical thought. Alr eady available: Fredri cJameson by Adam Rober ts J ean Baudri ll ard by Richard J. Lan e Sigmund Freud by Pamela Thurschwell Forthcoming: Paul de Man Edward Said M auri ce Blancbot [udith But ler Frantz Fanon

For fur th er details on this series, see www.literature.routledge.comlrct

JEAN BAUDRILLARD

Richard J. Lane

London and New York

First published 2000 by Rout ledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001 .

© 2000 Richard J. Lane All rights reserved. No part of th is book may be reprinted or reproduced or ut il ised in any form or by any electron ic, mechan ical, or other means, now known or hereafter invent ed, including photocopying and record ing, or in any inf ormati on storage or retrieval system, without perm ission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for th is book is available from the Brit ish Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Lane, Richard J. Jean Baudrillard/R ichard J. Lane. p. em. - (Routledge cr it ical thinkers) Includes bibl iograph ical references and index. I. Baudr illard, Jean. I. Title . II. Ser ies. B2430.B33974 L36 2000 194--dc21 ISBN 0-415--21514--5 (hbk) ISB N 0-415--21515--3 (pbk) ISBN 0-203-13368 -4 Master e-book ISBN ISBN 0-203-17672-3 (Glassbook Format)

00-031140

CONTENTS

Series Editor's preface

vii

WHY BAUDRILLARD?

1

I