Baudrillard and Signs: Signification Ablaze

Baudrillard and Signs: Signification Ablaze

Baudrillard and Signs: Signification Ablaze

Baudrillard and Signs: Signification Ablaze

Synopsis

This book relates Baudrillard's work to contemporary social r4248y. The author traces the connections between Baudrillard's work and Marx and Marxism; Lefebvre and structuralist method; the works of Saussure, Bataille, Barthes, Foucault, Mauss, Peirce, McLuhan and the Prague School. The result is an authoritative and stimulating account of Baudrillard and modern social theory.

Excerpt

‘What gives you a hard on [vous fait bander], theoreticians…is the coldness of the clear and distinct’, Jean-François Lyotard has provocatively written (Lyotard, 1975:115). Lyotard describes the erection of a disjunctive bar whose function is to draw and to maintain critical distinctions. This bar at once invokes a dis- and a con-junction, Lyotard thinks, ‘since in order to demarcate this side from that, one must be on both sides’. One must work the bar from both sides, the two sides (at least) which hold it up.

Such bawdy talk, in drawing attention to itself, to its monophallo-erotism, has given rise to a power play at which Jane Gallop has pointed with reference to Jacques Lacan’s placement of the signifier over the signified, the former thus exercising power over the latter (avoir sur barre) (Gallop, 1985:120). It is, however, the bar which will concern me here because it is powerful, a power bar, as Baudrillard has described it in L’Echange symbolique (1976:201): ‘When one says that power tient la barre, this is not a metaphor: it is this bar between life and death, this decree which interrupts the exchange of life and death, this tollgate and this control between the two banks’. the bar represses death. It is invested with the social power to do so; tenir la barre means to take control, to take the helm. the power bar between life and death is the archetype, Baudrillard maintains, of all the disjunctions which constitute the code. Life and death are reunited when there is no bar whose power lies in its ability to block an ineluctable relation in which there is an incessant obligation to give, to receive and to return, and thus to enter into a symbolic communion. Baudrillard too will work both sides of the bar. But this is not his only bar. in fact, Baudrillard will work a number of them.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.