2. The Commodity
and Division Within Appearances
4. The Proletariat
as Subject and Representation
and Consumption Within Culture
have been several previous English translations of The
Society of the Spectacle. I have gone through them
all and have retained whatever seemed already to be adequate.
In particular, I have adopted quite a
few of Donald Nicholson-Smiths renderings,
though I have diverged from him in many other cases.
His translation (Zone Books, 1994) and the earlier one by
Fredy Perlman and John Supak (Black and Red, 1977) are both
in print, and both can also be found at the Situationist
International Online website.
that my translation conveys Debords actual
meaning more accurately, as well as more clearly and idiomatically,
than any of the other versions.
I am nevertheless aware that it is far from perfect,
and welcome any criticisms or
you find the opening chapters too difficult, you might try
starting with Chapter 4 or Chapter
5. As you see how Debord deals with concrete historical
events, you may get a better idea of the practical implications
of ideas that are presented more abstractly in the other
book is not, however, as difficult or
abstract as it is reputed to be. It is not an ivory-tower
academic or philosophical discourse.
It is an effort to clarify the nature of the society
in which we find ourselves and the advantages and drawbacks
of various methods for changing it. Every single thesis
has a direct or indirect bearing on issues that are matters
of life and death. Chapter 4, which with remarkable conciseness
sums up the lessons of two centuries of revolutionary experience,
is simply the most obvious example.
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