Jean Baudrillard: Rest in Peace

Jean Baudrillard, the French critic and provocateur, who said the Gulf War of 1991 did not take place— that it was more a media event than a war—has died, at 77.

The first member of his family to attend a University and a fierce critic of “the consumer culture in which people bought objects not out of genuine need but because of the status and meaning they bestowed,” Baudrillard was part-inspiration for the cult Matrix movies.

One of his better known theories postulates that we live in a world where simulated feelings and experiences have replaced the real thing. This seductive “hyperreality,” where shopping malls, amusement parks and mass-produced images from the news, television shows and films dominate, is drained of authenticity and meaning. Since illusion reigns, he counseled people to give up the search for reality.

Read the New York Times obituary here: Critic and Theorist of Hyperreality dies 

2 Comments

  1. In graduate school I found Baudrillard much easier a read than the other giants of his time — Lyotard, Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida. One of the true originals that France gave the postmodernist/poststructuralist philosophy of the 20th century. May he rest in peace.

  2. RIP Jean. Made us all think he did.

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