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French philosophy and theory

Culture: France - philosophy - theory - French postmodernist theory

As observers of the French intellectual scene have frequently noted, although Germany lost on the battlefield, it triumphed in the seminar rooms, bookstores, and cafés of the Latin Quarter. Nietzsche and Heidegger became the intellectual idols of post-World War II France--above all, for poststructuralists like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze. During the 1960s Spenglerian indictments of "Western civilization," once cultivated by leading representatives of the German intellectual right, migrated across the Rhine where they gained a new currency. -- adapted from http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/i7705.html [May 2006]

People: A - Guillaume Apollinaire - B - Gaston Bachelard - Roland Barthes - Georges Bataille - Henri Bergson - Alfred Binet - Charles Baudelaire - Jean Baudrillard - Pierre Bourdieu - Catherine Breillat - Charles De Brosses - C - D - Guy Debord - Gilles Deleuze - Jacques Derrida - René Descartes - Denis Diderot - E - F - Michel Foucault - G - H - Michel Houellebecq - I - Luce Irigaray - J - K - Pierre Klossowski - Julia Kristeva - L - Jacques Lacan - Henri Lefèbvre - Lyotard - M - Henri Michaux - N - O - P - R - Jean-Jacques Rousseau - S - Marquis de Sade - Jean-Paul Sartre - T - V - Paul Virilio - W - Z -

French philosophy

[...] The big names now are Bataille, Deleuze, Derrida, and Baudrillard: the fab four of postmodernism. Generally, the French pomo thinkers succeed at two things: They offer a hysterical (read paranoid) but insightful perspective on the cruel and schizophrenic nature of late 20th century techno-culture, and they engage in linguistic sophistry to try to save Marxism's irrelevant ass. Trendy French thinkers deal with language and reality in techno-terms; in other words, they view it all as a big machine or a complex system. And they therefore exert great influence on the cybercrit (genus academia) segment of cyberculture.

Reading any of these guys is exhausting, and it takes valuable time away from watching television advertising, which generally communicates the pomo experience with that American kind of immediacy that we all crave -- even when it's on behalf of Trendy French Perfumes. This is why I'm providing you with this handy guide to Trendy French Intellectuals. -- RU Sirius, 1994 via http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.06/pomo_pr.html [Aug 2005]

French Sadean tradition

'... the French tradition represented by Sade, Lautreamont, Bataille, and the authors of Story of O and The Image... [Catherine Robbe-Grillet] suggests that "the obscene" is a primal notion of human consciousness, something much more profound than the backwash of a sick society's aversion to the body. Human sexuality is, quite apart from Christian repressions, a highly questionable phenomenon, and belongs, at least potentially, among the extreme rather than the ordinary experiences of humanity. Tamed as it may be, sexuality remains one of the demonic forces in human consciousness - pushing us at intervals close to taboo and dangerous desires, which range from the impulse to commit sudden arbitrary violence upon another person to the voluptuous yearning for the extinction of one's consciousness, for death itself." --Susan Sontag, The Pornographic Imagination (1967)

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