International Journal of Baudrillard Studies

ISSN: 1705-6411


March 20, 2007

Jean Baudrillard: How To Disappear Completely1

Robin Parmar
(Limerick, Ireland)

            My life is spent in an alternative media world from most, so I am often unaware of major "events" that normative values say I should be interested in. I must say I have never suffered any harm or diminishing of richness in my life due to this. Quite the contrary. However, this happy oblivion did mean that I was unaware immediately of Jean Baudrillard's objective disappearance from the world, which newspapers report to have happened March 6, 2007.
            After Baudrillard's non-appearance at a conference last summer
2 I had assumed already that he was gone. In his absence he left a paper, "On Disappearing", one of the more sublime efforts he has achieved, certainly beyond my meager attempts at understanding. So thankfully there was an expert panel to provide multiple paths into and out of the text.
            I never met Baudrillard and would have had nothing to say if I had. A positive nothing. I know this because I once met J.G. Ballard, who has had a profound influence on my life. I could not say anything to him that would not have diminished the silence with words. Though, raised always to be polite, I believe I did spoil things with a "thank you".
            In this way the quotidian is used to mark time where otherwise rich stillness might fall. A lack of noise is traditionally seen to signify quietude, quietus and death. But there is nothing richer than a silence which one experiences intently. Death is a silence in which no-one listens. I strive to not mourn those who have gone to that literal utopia, that ou topos in which silence itself does not exist.
            So, thank you Jean Baudrillard, for giving me the perspective from which I may spoil this page with words that know their own limitations.



2 Engaging Baudrillard: An International Conference. Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom, September 4-6, 2006. I gave a paper (with thanks to Alan Shapiro) at this conference: “Time and reality die in spectacle: Doctor Who As The Perfect Crime”.




©International Journal of Baudrillard Studies (2007)