Stuart Kendall

  • The Cradle of Humanity

    The Cradle of Humanity

    Prehistoric Art and Culture

    Georges Bataille and Stuart Kendall

    A radically interdisciplinary inquiry into the origins of human consciousness, community, and potential.

    The Cradle of Humanity: Prehistoric Art and Culture collects essays and lectures by Georges Bataille spanning 30 years of research in anthropology, comparative religion, aesthetics, and philosophy. These were neither idle nor idyllic years; the discovery of Lascaux in 1940 coincides with the bloodiest war in history—with new machines of death, Auschwitz, and Hiroshima. Bataille's reflections on the possible origins of humanity coincide with the intensified threat of its possible extinction. For Bataille, prehistory is universal history; it is the history of a human community prior to its fall into separation, into nations and races. The art of prehistory offers the earliest traces of nascent yet fully human consciousness—of consciousness not yet fully separated from natural flora and fauna, or from the energetic forces of the universe. A play of identities, the art of prehistory is the art of a consciousness struggling against itself, of a human spirit struggling against brute animal physicality. Prehistory is the cradle of humanity, the birth of tragedy. Bataille reaches beyond disciplinary specializations to imagine a moment when thought was universal. Bataille's work provides a model for interdisciplinary inquiry in our own day, a universal imagination and thought for our own potential community. The Cradle of Humanity: Prehistoric Art and Culture speaks to philosophers and historians of thought, to anthropologists interested in the history of their discipline and in new methodologies, to theologians and religious comparatists interested in the origins and nature of man's encounter with the sacred, and to art historians and aestheticians grappling with the place of prehistory in the canons of art.

    • Hardcover $22.95 £18.99
    • Paperback $22.95 £18.99

Contributor

  • Correspondence

    Correspondence

    The Foundation of the Situationist International (June 1957–August 1960)

    Guy Debord

    Letters by writer, filmmaker, and cultural revolutionary Guy Debord conjure a vivid picture of the dynamic first years of the Situationist International movement.

    Yesterday, the police interrogated me at length about the journal and other Situationist organizations. It was only a beginning. This is, I think, one of the principal threats that came up quickly during the discussion: the police want to consider the S.I. as an association to bring about the destruction of France.—from CorrespondenceThis volume traces the dynamic first years of the Situationist International movement—a cultural avant-garde that continues to inspire new generations of artists, theorists, and writers more than half a century later. Debord's letters—published here for the first time in English—provide a fascinating insider's view of just how this seemingly disorganized group drifting around a newly consumerized Paris became one of the most defining cultural movements of the twentieth century. Circumstances, personalities, and ambitions all come into play as the group develops its strategy of anarchic, conceptual, but highly political “intervention.” Brilliantly conceived, this collection of letters offers the best available introduction to the Situationist International movement by detailing, through original documents, how the group formed and defined its cultural mission: to bring about, “by any means possible, even artistic,” a complete transformation of personal life within the Society of the Spectacle.

    • Hardcover $55.00 £45.00
    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New Edition

    In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New Edition

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's remarkably prescient meditation on terrorism throws light on post-9/11 delusional fears and political simulations.

    Published one year after Forget Foucault, In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities (1978) may be the most important sociopolitical manifesto of the twentieth century: it calls for nothing less than the end of both sociology and politics. Disenfranchised revolutionaries (the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof Gang) hoped to reach the masses directly through spectacular actions, but their message merely played into the hands of the media and the state. In a media society meaning has no meaning anymore; communication merely communicates itself. Jean Baudrillard uses this last outburst of ideological terrorism in Europe to showcase the end of the "Social." Once invoked by Marx as the motor of history, the masses no longer have sociological reality. In the electronic media society, all the masses can do—and all they will do—is enjoy the spectacle. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities takes to its ultimate conclusion the "end of ideologies" experienced in Europe after the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the death of revolutionary illusions after May 1968. Ideological terrorism doesn't represent anything anymore, writes Baudrillard, not even itself. It is just the last hysterical reaction to discredited political illusions.

    • Paperback $14.95 £11.99
  • Utopia Deferred

    Utopia Deferred

    Writings from Utopie (1967–1978)

    Jean Baudrillard

    Seminal essays written by Baudrillard for a journal devoted to a radical leftist critique of architecture, urbanism, and everyday life.

    The Utopie group was born in 1966 at Henri Lefebvre's house in the Pyrenees. The eponymous journal edited by Hubert Tonka brought together sociologists Jean Baudrillard, René Lourau, and Catherine Cot, architects Jean Aubert, Jean-Paul Jungmann, Antoine Stinco, and landscape architect Isabelle Auricoste. Over the next decade, both in theory and in practice, the group articulated a radical ultra-leftist critique of architecture, urbanism, and everyday life. Utopia Deferred collects all of the essays Jean Baudrillard published in Utopie as well as recent interviews with Jean Baudrillard and Hubert Tonka.Utopie served as a workshop for Baudrillard's thought. Many of the essays he first published in Utopie were seminal for some of his most shockingly original books: For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, The Mirror of Production, Simulations, Symbolic Exchange and Death, and In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities. But Utopie was also a topical journal and a political one; the topics of these essays are often torn from the headlines of the tumultuous decade following the uprisings of May 1968.

    • Paperback $17.95 £14.99