Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle – new, annotated translation online and forthcoming in print

Cover: Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord: The Society of the Spectacle

Newly translated and annotated by Ken Knabb Bureau of Public Secrets, 2014 ISBN 978-0-939682-06-5 150 pages. $15.00

The Society of the Spectacle, originally published in Paris in 1967, has been translated into more than twenty other languages and is arguably the most important radical book of  the twentieth century. This  is the first edition in  any language  to include extensive annotations, clarifying the historical allusions and  revealing the sources  of Debord’s “détournements.” Contrary to popular misconceptions,  Debord’s book is neither an ivory tower “philosophical” discourse nor a mere expression of “protest.”   It is a carefully considered effort to clarify the most fundamental  tendencies and contradictions of the society in which we find ourselves. This  makes it more of a challenge, but it is also why it remains so pertinent nearly  half a century after its original publication while countless other social  theories and intellectual fads have come and gone. It has, in fact, become even more pertinent than ever, because the spectacle  has become more all-pervading than ever — to the  point that it is almost universally taken for granted. Most people today have scarcely any awareness of pre-spectacle  history, let alone of anti-spectacle possibilities. As Debord noted  in his follow-up work, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988), “spectacular domination has succeeded in raising an entire generation molded to its laws.”

This new annotated edition is now at the printer’s. It will be available  around March 20, 2014. If you order it now directly from AK Distribution,  they will ship it the moment it comes in.

[Table of Contents and online text]

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1 Response to Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle – new, annotated translation online and forthcoming in print

  1. theo praxis says:

    significantly the best translation in print. this time with annotations.

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