In this, his most important collection of essays since Le systeme des objets, Jean Baudrillard contemplates Western culture "after the orgy" -- the orgy, that is, of the revolutions of the 1960s. The sexual revolution has led, he argues, not to sexual liberation but to a reign of transvestism, to a confusion of the categories of man and woman -- to the "androgenous and Frankenstein appeal of a Michael Jackson." The revolution in art has led to a "transaesthetic realm of indifference." The cybernetic revolution has blurred the distinction between man and machine, while the political revolution has led to a 'transpolitics' that merely simulates old political forms. Such are the points of Baudrillard's compass as he steers his way through the mental landscape of this febrile fin de siecle.
Jean Baudrillard was born in Rheims in 1929 and now lives in Paris. From 1966 to 1987 he taught sociology at the University of Paris X (Nanterre). Among his works translated into English are In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, Simulations and Simulacra, Fatal Strategies, Seduction and (from Verso) America, and Cool Memories. His most recent books to appear in France are La guerre de Golfe n'a pas eu lieu and L'illusion de la fin.
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