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Simulacra and Simulation (The Body in Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism) Paperback – 31 Dec 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: The University of Michigan Press (31 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472065211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472065219
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Sheila Glaser is an editor at Artforum magazine.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
To respond to the previous writer's criticism: The reason this book lacks a coherent, logical structure is that it is a collection of essays. Consequently, one should not be surprised that it is not nicely tied together by an introduction and conclusion.
I seldom agree with Baudrillard, not least because I am never too certain how seriously (given his anti-academic stance and avowed debt to pataphysics) he intends us to take him. However I always enjoy reading him because is such a consummate stylist. The essays in this book are more difficult than some of his work but, nonetheless, very enjoyable.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Concerned father on 18 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
Baudrillard is indeed modern philosophy's equivalent of Nietzsche, but in this work at least does not live up to that great man. Be prepared for a struggle if you want to read this book; the writer's arguments are painstakingly condensed to the point that it is hard to tell whether he has really justified his observation with evidence.
While the chapters on Clones and Holograms are very interesting, inherently suited as the subjects are to the books concern, in other places the subject matter and arguments do seem the result of whim rather than an attempt to locate truth.
So while this book contains a lot of value, and will certainly change the way the reader interprets the world, Baudrillards style of writing forces the intelligent reader to approach his claims critically and selectively.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lucas Muller on 27 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Baudrillard takes 164 pages of dense writing to propose unsubstantiated claims that could have been written over ten pages at the most, as if he were paid by the word. He frequently invents words and creates new definitions for already existing ones.

My favourite passage:

`Nihilism no longer wears the dark, Wagnerian, Senglerian, fuliginous colors of the end of the century. It no longer comes from a weltanschuung of decadence nor from a metaphysical radicality born of the death of God and of all the consequences that must be taken from this death. Today's nihilism is one of transparency, and it is in some sense more radical, more crucial than in its prior and historical forms, because this transparency, this irresolution is indissolubly that of the system, and that of all the theory that still pretends to analyze it. (Page 159)

The main simulation I see here is that of communication itself, and as Baudrillard might say, the implosion of meaning!!

Amazon, please reclassify under fiction.

Guillaume
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By thisnameisalive on 9 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
Out in the world I noticed that the resolution seemed to be much higher than 1080p and that I could actually walk around. My studio monitors are pretty good but even though the sounds out there in the streets were discordant and scattered scraps, their fidelity still managed to impress. Rather than emerging from two speakers sound travelled towards me from all over the place. Each leaf on each tree that I passed seemed to have its own speaker and each spot up to the horizon also seemed to have its own speaker system, creating a remarkable feeling of immersion. I could also feel the wind on my face and I think that this had something to do with the sense of touch that I had heard about. I wasn't as impressed by this feature and considered asking for my money back but I hadn't paid any and besides I wasn't sure which company was providing this sensation. In terms of audio visual quality the world out there superseded even the most expensive high definition equipment. The software didn't seem to be much good though and I'm not even sure if there was any running. The programme seemed to involve people walking around and lots of cars driving about. It was a bit like GTA4 but without any explosions, gunfire or action of any sort. If the programmers rustle something up I might try 'the world out there' again. I'm sure that they will ask for a fee once reality has a killer app but hopefully there will be an option to pay as you go. I also sensed a rasping emptiness threatening to draw us all down into its acidic embrace but the manual didn't make mention of this so maybe I had received a defective batch of reality. I have half a mind to contact trading standards about this fault because it was mildly terrifying. I noticed that Amazon have a good deal on mass psychosis at the moment and so I would suggest giving delusions of grandeur a whirl instead because the 'world out there' is having a few teething troubles.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fusion Fan 1991 on 8 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought 'Simulacra and Simulation' second hand after hearing that 'The Matrix' was allegedly based on it (and also cameos in the film for a split second). The book itself is condensed into commentaries on particular topics coupled with critiques from the author and aligning things with a post-modernist viewpoint i.e. the concept of hyperreality in today's world, the use of language.

I thought that in small bite-size readings it does pay off, to an extent though. Like with many of the reviews, especially Markgoats' review, I agree that it is indeed annoyingly difficult where you may feel whether it was worth opening it in the first place or whether you are attempting to get up on your post-modern high horse. It tests the reader in ways that it is difficult to determine what Baudrillard wants us to think (or not think given the paradoxical nature of post-modernism). That said, the obscuring of points and drawn out sentences become second nature and you question whether or not you understand the book at all. Indeed a thesaurus and patience are required to tackle this, and adverse reactions of confusion may follow, but once deciphered like I said it pays off but in select areas. For instance the first chapter is enjoyable and pretty much details what a simulacra is, and it is interesting to delve into the essence of simulated realities without having to believe in them. On the other hand, the last chapter 'On Nihilism' to me dragged and I didn't feel as if I was learning anything about Baudrillard's philosophy.

Thought-provoking sometimes, but difficult and tedious at others
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