ISSN: 1705-6411

Volume 1, Number 1 (January 2004)

Baudrillard and Deconstruction

Dr. Tilottama Rajan
(Canada Research Chair in English and Theory, University of Western Ontario, Canada)

I. Introduction

The following pages are taken from the second of two chapters on Baudrillard that conclude my book Deconstruction and the Remainders of Phenomenology: Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard.  Beginning with the seminal role of Sartre's Being and Nothingness in the emergence of deconstruction from phenomenology, and proceeding to the early work of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault (up to The Order of Things) as examples of a "deconstruction" distinct from "poststructuralism," the book tries to recover a sense of what critical potential might remain for deconstruction after poststructuralism's linguistic turn. These terms, deconstruction and poststructuralism, have always been identified in Anglo-American commentary on French theory. But Derrida himself has recently returned to describing his work as "deconstruction," and has decisively dissociated it from "poststructuralism": a "purely American notion," which he says he does not "care for." Despite Derrida's entirely correct perception that the misprision of deconstruction as poststructuralism began in the English-speaking world, around the time of the famous 1966 conference on "Critical Languages and the Sciences of Man" at Johns Hopkins University,1 "poststructuralism" does, I suggest, effectively describe a certain phase that French theory itself passes through, as well as a phase in its Anglo-American reception. Indeed in the (sometimes delayed) aftermath of 1968, which is a particularly unreadable and overdetermined "event" in the psychic history of French theory, a poststructuralist turn, or at least moment, can be found in the work of several major theorists. These include Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Paul de Man, Jean-François Lyotard and even, however briefly, Derrida himself.

Accordingly the book as a whole tries to distinguish the two different theory-forms, deconstruction and poststructuralism, around the issue of their return to or turn away from phenomenology. Deconstruction can be traced back to the work of Maurice Blanchot and Emmanuel Levinas in the forties and extends forward to that of Jean-Luc Nancy, Lyotard and others in the eighties and nineties. But it achieves its most powerful articulation in the sixties in the work of Derrida and Foucault, who attempt an interdisciplinary reconfiguration of philosophy as it confronts the positivism of the newly ascendant human or social sciences, whether in their "critical" or "orthopedic" form.2 Yet phenomenology had already attempted precisely this kind of renewal of philosophy, as Lyotard had begun to suggest in his early book on the subject.3 Arguably it had not succeeded: Tran Duc Thao's influential Phenomenology and Dialectical Materialism stands as a monument to the difficulty of bringing Marxism and phenomenology together, while Merleau-Ponty sees phenomenology's interdisciplinary failure and future promise as lying in its missed encounter with psychoanalysis.4 These failures are precisely the condition of possibility for deconstruction, which one can think of as "conjugated" from phenomenology, to evoke Derrida's notion of the copula(tion) between bodies of thought. As a uniquely interdisciplinary dialogue between ontology, epistemology and the human sciences, deconstruction is a sub-version of Kantian transcendental thought, as Foucault himself argues:5 a form of radical, antiscientific modernity. Poststructuralism, on the other hand, claims a scientific legitimacy for itself as an antihumanism constituted by its abjection of phenomenology's emphasis on consciousness, including the unhappy consciousness as a site for human being's exposure to its (non)being through the philosophical, epistemic and cultural forms in which it produces itself. Rejecting the vocabulary of consciousness and being, poststructuralism submits to the hegemony of sign, code and structure, albeit in the unhappy form of Lacan's Symbolic order, the discipline of discourse in the later Foucault, and the random, positional power of language in the last work of de Man. Poststructuralism's forfeiting of consciousness to the agency of the letter responds, in an obscure and displaced way, to changes in technology and the mode of information that continue the disciplinary crisis earlier confronted by deconstruction.6 As such, it is very much the end of the "discourse network" that constitutes modernity, and the beginning of something else that, as Friedrich Kittler argues in his discussion of Nietzsche, goes back to the invention of the typewriter as the first step in the technologization of writing.7 Poststructuralism's interest in the machine of language can be seen as a submission, fascinated or ascetic, to reification: an overdetermined reaction to the trauma of a late capitalism that may well have made critique outmoded (not just in a political sense, but also in the onto-epistemological sense that deconstruction derives from Kant). Yet needless to say, the notion of an "end," the ex-termination of the terms phenomenology, deconstruction, or critique, will always remain problematic.

In the book as a whole I trace the turn from deconstruction to poststructuralism through the careers of several theorists. Baudrillard too is caught in this turn from deconstruction to its dissipation in a poststructural world of depthless surfaces and metonymic links. But he occupies a unique place in this genealogy because he, more than anyone else, focuses on the forms of techno-mediation that invisibly produce the linguistic turn. Baudrillard is thus at once a victim of poststructuralism and its most trenchant analyst. For in addition to being a theorist of the commodity or object-form, he is a theorist of the sign-form itself, the very form of theory.

As against Douglas Kellner and Christopher Norris, who see Baudrillard as irresponsibly lost in the funhouse, or Arthur Kroker, who sees him as a panic theorist, I approach him as a philosopher in the broadest sense. Accordingly the first of my two chapters reads Baudrillard's early work --Consumer Society and parts of Symbolic Exchange and Death-- within the deconstructive tradition of a critique of the human sciences (in this case economics) from the perspective  of an antiscience invested, at different points, in poetics, psychoanalysis and philosophy. Baudrillard's work, as I've suggested, is always simultaneously a critique of consumption and media(tisa)tion, and a critique of complicitous, homologous theoretical forms. Structuralism is the theoretical form that corresponds to the commodity, and is the object of Baudrillard's deconstruction in Consumer Society and For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign. But with the advent of advanced capitalism's "double spiral," in which commodification becomes simulation, structuralism no longer describes the escalating yet paradoxically self-sustaining instability of the sign-system. In sections of my second chapter not included in the current excerpt, I therefore argue that just as Baudrillard had analysed structuralism as the theory-form produced by the second order of simulation, so more recently he has come to see poststructuralism as the theory-form produced by the third order of hyperreality.

Perhaps the most explicit instance of this critique of poststructuralism, which for the most part occurs through veiled allusions to various theorists, is the strange collusion Baudrillard constructs in Forget Foucault between Deleuze and the later Foucault: between desire and power, transgression and discipline, or one could say, left and right. As structuralism mutates into poststructucturalism, deconstruction in any straightforward sense grows increasingly impossible. Arguably deconstruction in the past two decades has experienced something of a third wave associated with the "ethical turn" as it is brought to bear on issues such as community, globalization and justice. But this deconstruction, especially at the points where it merges with postHeideggerian French thought, is sometimes so resolutely pre-ontic and even pre-ontological as to seem a return to a pure philosophy before deconstruction. Baudrillard  would probably see it as eliding the crisis of reification at the core of his work. Yet as I argue in the sections presented here, Baudrillard carries on his own secret conversation with postHeideggerian thought from America onwards, even allowing phenomenology a certain power of reappearance as a deliberately staged symptom, simulation, or "illusion." His work remains profoundly engaged with deconstruction as what Derrida calls the "im-possible," albeit in a very distinctive way. Baudrillard's deconstruction is not critical but ecstatic, and not discursive but performative: a bitterly cynical, deeply utopian provocation of critical theory as its own destruction.

The Double Spiral: Baudrillard’s (Re) Turns8

II. Baudrillard's Kehre

            After Symbolic Exchange, Baudrillard "forgets" everything that he values: he forgets Foucault, he rejects desire for seduction, and he denies "death." His books ritualistically perform the end, whether of history, man, or theory. Indeed it is as performances that they enter the field, not as theory with a content. For as Poster argues, the new "mode of information" is not meant for reading. And it is to this "nonrepresentational ...communications mode"9 that Baudrillard responds when he insists that to enter "into a relation of critical negativity with the real" is no longer "theory's end." Theory itself is at an end: instead of "acting as a mode of production" it must act "as a mode of disappearance"10.  It cannot simply "analyse," but must be "an event in the universe it describes."  It must (dis)appear in the "enigma" of its own discourse,11 to achieve a subversion "more aleatory than the system itself."12

I shall come back to the psychotropology of this disappearing theory and its overdetermined relations to Baudrillard's past. But for the present let us consider his own figure for his turn. In L'autre par lui-meme, the overview written for his habilitation at the Sorbonne (1987), Baudrillard describes his work as a "double spiral" involving two "antagonistic" paradigms:  On the one hand: political economy, production, the code, the system, simulation. On the other hand: potlatch, expenditure, sacrifice, death...seduction.13  The double spiral condenses a self-returning with radical change. On the one hand, Baudrillard--against those who like Norris or Kellner see him abandoning Marxism for postmodernism14 --insists that a single thematic underwrites all his works. This is the dialectic of matter and anti-matter, code and symbol, between which he seeks a symbolic, catalytic exchange; indeed the spiral is a well-known figure for  dialectic. On the other hand, the persistence of this thematic now marks the impossibility of a project whose return can only be ended by the end, or self-destruction, of theory. For the two paradigms have "undergone considerable inflection:

The simulacra have passed from the second to the third, from the dialectic of alienation to the giddiness of transparency. At the same time, after L'Échange Symbolique and with De la Séduction the dream of a transgression...and the nostalgia for a symbolic order of any kind, born out of the deep of primitive societies, or of our historical alienation, have been lost. With Séduction there more recovered object, no more original desire.15

With this escalation into the hyperreal, the spiral has been involuted into a system that is "Moebian and circular," a "möbius-spiraling negativity," the spiral as the vertigo of distinct poles. There is no exit from this system, no duel/dual or dialectical resolution, only "exacerbation" and "catastrophic resolution."16  …

III. The Ecstacy of Deconstruction

Baudrillard's strategies all respond to a new mode of information tied to the "fractal subject." For him "communication is too slow" to catch the system, inasmuch as we live in the age of speed theorized by Paul Virilio in his analyses of globalization and technoculture. Accordingly Baudrillard does not follow the asceticism of the linguistic turn: his style is instead "ecstatic" and extreme. More desperate than de Man and Foucault, he is also less anonymously resigned. Fatal theory bypasses language through a form of "magic"17 which is both exacerbation and potential. Its hyperboles simulate the system's extremity, "accelerating" it or (in the case of inertia) slowing it down to its own extermination.18 This exaggeration conveys Baudrillard's entrapment within the infernal machine of the system. But it also gives his texts a hysterical, unpredictable and reversible performativity that is anything but essentialist. In other words his fatalism is not a "logic" or set of principles, but an "event" aimed uncontrollably at an audience through whom anything can happen.

            We can see this performativity in Seduction, where it is never clear what Baudrillard thinks of seduction nor how his arguments are engendered. Seduction is uncontrollable simulation, threatening the masculine logic of oppositions which Baudrillard both distrusts and clings to as a source of stability. It must be dismissed and feminized; yet it contains an irreducible remainder of difference that leads him to become-feminine and assail Freud for not understanding seduction.19 Insofar as seduction is a figure for difference, Baudrillard's self-feminization is undecidably hyperconformity and a desire to recapture in simulation some trace of a more authentic "difference." This hysteria which speaks with two voices--one postmodern and one modern--is also evident in the ways Baudrillard deals with seduction. On the one hand he appropriates it, thus resisting non-meaning through a game that is itself meaningless. Games, as Baudrillard says, are free of "internal negativity,"20 and thus connote mastery. On the other hand the gendered terms are themselves auto-critical, meant precisely to provoke the feminist anger they elicit. Indeed Baudrillard's very definition of irony--as "the fulfilment of the object without regard for the subject or its alienation"21 --is provocative in its irresponsibility. Finally this postmodern irony is unstable, unreadable, an "extermination" of all terms. Is Baudrillard immoral or not, and does it matter? To further complicate matters, towards the end of Seduction, Baudrillard opposes seduction unironically and clearly. In a return to his critique of in-difference, he critiques the masses as a "clone-like apparatus that functions without the mediation of the other."22 He appeals to the very modern concepts he denounces, such as interiority, meaning, and the integrity of the body.

            Yet analysis is outmoded, and Baudrillard knows it. Thus having deconstructed seduction, he returns to it by distinguishing a soft "minimalist" version from a "defiant," neoprimitivist ancestor.23 This latter is the seduction of magic, which confers on seduction a metaphysical status as traffic with spirit(s).24 Even here, however, it is hard to figure out what game Baudrillard is playing. Interestingly "magic" is the term Sartre uses to describe emotion as a short-circuit in which the subject, by a form of simulation, reconstitutes a "difficult" world on his own terms.25 As magic fatal theory is bad faith, except that in a world of simulation there can be no ethics or bad faith. And yet strategies such as seduction, terrorism, and Baudrillard's denial of the Gulf War are completely scandalous and unethical.26 In a desperate wager, they simulate both the disappearance of truth into "the system" and, (im)possibly, their own disappearance as provocations capable of conjuring truth by their fraud. In this sense Baudrillard's bad faith with ethics folds undecidably back into Sartre's anguished search for an ethics. For "magic" names the fraud of theory but also its performativity. Magic signs are pure appearances without any referent, but as such they are a world "reversible in signs."27 In "magic thought" signs "evolve, they concatenate, and produce themselves,"28 in a "diabolical...and reversible" game with the audience which may well generate "some unprecedented development - some Witz of the events themselves."29

            Magic thought is mobilized by two principles of hope, both equally desperate. One is reversibility: the very structure that collapses the oppositions anchoring meaning. For if left can become right, then the reverse too is possible. The other is Baudrillard's Manichaeism: at once a symptom of his antagonistic and `duel' rather than dialectical thought,30 and an indication that magic, far from being pure simulation, is deeply metaphysical. The Manicheans saw the world as created by an "evil demon" and as "tainted from the very beginning" or "seduced by a sort of irreal principle."31 It is as if a "perverse god" created "the world on a dare."32 Our goal, then, must be "to repudiate this evil phantom,"33 through an "implosion" or "short-circuit between poles"34 that will reverse reality and illusion by destroying both. In effect the Manicheans fall somewhere between what Baudrillard calls  dissimulation and simulation. While "simulation threatens the difference between `true' and `false'," dissimulation protects a "reality principle" that "is only masked."35 But the Manicheans know the difference between true and false, even as they do not believe there is anything but illusion and do not accept the conventional opposition of reality and illusion. The Manicheans believe in destroying an illusory world, yet not in "`real-ising'(another] world through any rational or materialist principle," since there is no reality that is not evil, and thus no "possibility of rebuilding the world."36

            In this context of a fatal theory that (dis)simulates metaphysics it is worth returning to the archaeology of the word "simulacrum." Baudrillard gets the term from Bataille's contemporary, Pierre Klossowski, a heroic precursor of fatal theory and "Manichean" seduction.37  Klossowski's surreal parodies of industrial society attempt to preserve the sacred amidst the profanity of commodification through a Sadeian extremity. His Nietzschean theory is a radical anti-capitalist schizoanalysis that tries to get at the lost affects or "phantasms" behind simulacra. However, especially in some of his fiction, this analysis is also allegorized through a gnostic theology that links the simulacrum to the occultation of the pagan gods after Augustine. Thereafter, these gods speak through what has effaced them in a form of d(a)emonic narration. "Gods" are masked and (dis)simulated as demons. Insofar as we have no direct access to them, we invoke the souls of angels and demons to "seduce" the gods through imposture. Or as Jean-Pol Madou explains, "Klossowskian mimesis ...[is] a simulation of the unrepresentable." It consists "in seducing an invisible model, to capture through recourse to imposture an unrepresentable power."38 The simulacrum as icon has, as Foucault says, a complex identity:  It is a lie which leads one to take one sign for another; a sign of the presence of a deity (and the reciprocal possibility of taking this sign as its opposite); [and] the simultaneous irruption of the Same and the Other....Thus is formed the wondrously rich constellation so characteristic of Klossowski: simulacrum, similitude, simultaneity, simulation, and dissimulation.  Unlike "signs," which can be subjected to exegesis, the simulacrum is elusive and illusive: at once deconstructive and theological. The simulacrum is a symbol, an allegory, but of a curiously non-positive variety: because what it says is simulation, it always points beyond itself to something "other than that which it says," but only in the mode of simulation.39

            Klossowski's corpus is a reflection on industrial society that attempts to (un)conceal some form of symbolic exchange within simulacra. And Baudrillard's fatal strategies clearly emulate his form of "hard" seduction.40 Yet on the face of it the Baudrillardean simulacrum is more banal, and apparently on the side of signs rather than symbols. As Mario Perniola defines it in a book to which Baudrillard refers, the simulacrum is the mechanically reproducible, serial product of the media in a context where the nostalgia for the real has been superseded.41 However, Perniola's very analysis of simulacra as leaving behind the earlier conflict of iconoclasm and iconophilia suggests the limits of Baudrillard's adherence to the "secularization without residue" that legitimizes the simulacrum as the occasion for a "technology" or "practice."42 For Baudrillard is still an iconoclast. To be sure, he is not an iconoclast as he himself uses the term, since he seeks what the iconoclast fears: the "destructive, annihilating truth" that simulacra "allow to appear--that deep down God never existed...[and] was never anything but his own simulacrum."43  But if he thus rejoices in simulation, it is because he discerns in the form of simulation, as the principle of "the radical illusoriness of the world,"44 a destructive, deconstructive power. Our "modern media images" so fascinate us, he writes, not because they are sites of the production of meaning...but because they are sites of [its] disappearance...of [a] denegation of the real and the reality principle.45  Baudrillard, in other words, embraces, not the simulacrum, but simulation as (its own) deconstruction. He is thus an iconoclast in the sense envisioned by Perniola, who describes the persistence of the "millennial quarrel" between the "contemporary iconophiles" who are "realists and hyperrealists of the media," and the iconoclasts who are "hyperfuturists of authenticity and an alternative truth."46

            Yet this truth, as in Manichaeism, does not posit anything. It is a destruktion that still harbours a certain "utopianism." And this is where Baudrillard parts company with the banal, materialist simulacrum of Perniola to return to Klossowski's simulacrum as anti-matter, described by Baudrillard as the "diabolical" power of images. For images are evil in a "duel" sense, at once technological and theological. They "seduce" the real into a precession of simulacra, thereby also seducing it into "the realm of metamorphosis." Put differently, they are not simply bad but "evil" in the sense meant by Nietzsche, Sade and Klossowski, for whom evil is a "form" more than a "value:" a form of "negation, illusion, destruction." Baudrillard himself locates this destruction in "objective" irony, as a form of anti-matter within matter, arising "from within things themselves" as they "function against" themselves. But in his most recent book he also links the "antimatter of the social" to the possibility of utopia:  What I object to in sociology is...its realism, its taking of the social for the social and its failure to envisage that it might, at a particular moment, be an opportunity, a dream, a utopia a contradiction.47  Thus we might also approach the utopianism of destruction through another form of irony that Baudrillard renounces as "subjective." According to Kierkegaard irony is "infinite absolute negativity: it "is negativity because it only negates; it is infinite because it negates not this or that phenomenon; and it is absolute because it negates by virtue of a higher which is not."48  …

IV. The Illusion of Phenomenology

In forgetting Foucault, philosophy and history, Baudrillard signally failed to bring theory to an end. Thus his recent work, in its circling back on itself and its past, is increasingly a return and retreat from its origins, rather than (like Seduction) a bitterly performative self-rejection. It is as if Baudrillard, travelling into the dead future, also travels back to a missed encounter with theory's past. In this context, the dissolution of the system into light rather than mass introduces a gap in what many expect of him. This gap opens the possibility of catastrophe as a writing of the disaster more profound than simply a consumption of the end "as spectacle."49 It opens the possibility of a destruktion that is not simply catastrophic but allows for what Derrida calls "new possibilities of arrangement."

            The beginning of America is the best example of this travel back to a past that is yet to come. Indeed in choosing travel as the text's mode, Baudrillard chooses a form different from game or duel, "a trip without any objective which is...endless" and open.50 Much of the text is still concerned with a society of surfaces, communications, networks. This is not, however, only a fatal text that develops a form of "superficial reading."51 It is also a presentation of phenomena in their "raw self-evidence."52 Baudrillard carefully sets the scene by beginning  with the desert as "the negative of the earth's surface." Like the slowing down of light, the disappearance of the "social and cultural America" into a landscape of "speed...and mineral surfaces" is an illusion that allows the illusoriness of the world to show through. Entering the desert's "archives," Baudrillard travels back to the civilizations that precede white America and the "signs that predate" man himself. As important, he also travels back to an earlier form of theory: “I sought the finished form of the future catastrophe of the social in geology, in that upturning of depth that can be seen in the striated spaces...the immemorial abyss of slowness that shows itself in erosion and geology.53

            As in all his texts, Baudrillard works by intensification: "unbearable" heat, intense speed and slowness combine to make the desert an "ecstatic critique of culture." This use of catastrophe as epistemic destruction or an "ecstatic form of disappearance" is not new for Baudrillard. But what is different is the way destruction makes visible an "earlier stage than that of anthropology," through a "mineralogy"54 that recalls Foucault's earliest uses of the term archaeology. For the desert is, in its own way, a place from which man has been "erased, like a face drawn in sand."55 In this infinite perspective, the society of generalized communication appears as but a "recent invention" (386). Insofar as this society, so obscenely present in other works, is "neither the oldest nor the most constant problem...for human knowledge" (386), its bracketing is the letting-appear of a different order of things.

            What the text lets-appear is not an alternative material order but a new way of seeing that returns to the primacy of perception. To be sure, Baudrillard goes back from the desert to "social and cultural" America, and repeats some of his own earlier analyses in the process. But the desert lingers on: "When you emerge from the desert, your eyes go on trying to create emptiness all around."56 The desert strips away received categories of understanding, those that inform the social but also, more importantly, those that inform Baudrillard's own analyses of the social. In New York, on the freeways, in Los Angeles, Baudrillard leaves analysis not for provocation but for phenomenological description. Flying over Los Angeles, he discovers a "luminous, geometric, incandescent immensity.... [like] Bosch's hell." America is at once faster and slower than conventional analysis: it passes by people and objects too quickly for commentary, yet lingers carefully on their singularity. "Speed creates pure objects."57 Thus the clearing initiated by a landscape void of people allows the elements of the urban landscape to appear in their “raw self-evidence:” unmediated and unmediatized, as if they too were natural phenomena. Seen in this way the components of contemporary culture have an "immanence that retains the quality of transcendence"58: they are "pure surface," yet have a certain strangeness and possibility. In short what is facilitated by this beginning from phenomenology is a re-perception of the "ob-scene" that deconstructs Baudrillard's own en-framing of contemporary culture. It is of course an illusion. But it lets us play with the hope that "our system," even in its "normally catastrophic course," might still contain the possibility of difference.

Tilottama Rajan:  Is Canada Research Chair in English and Theory at the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of The Supplement of Reading: Figures of Understanding in Romantic Theory and Practice and, Deconstruction and the Remainders of Phenomenology: Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard (Stanford University Press, 2002).  She is an editor of IJBS.


1 Jacques Derrida. "Deconstructions: The Im-possible," French Theory in America. Edited by  Sylvère Lotringer and Sande Cohen. New York: Routledge, 2001: 15-17.

2 The distinction is made during the French university crisis of the sixties by the Sorbonne Liaison Committee, which differentiates the "critical" from the "orthopaedic human sciences (i.e. those aiming at adaptation and readjustment within the system)." See Vladimir Fisera Editor.  Writing on the Wall. May 1968: A Documentary Anthology. Translated by  Nichola Ainsworth et. al. London: Allison and Busby, 1978: 247-48.

3 Jean-François Lyotard. Phenomenology (1953).  Translated by Brian Beakley.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991.

4 Trân Duc Thao, Phenomenology and Dialectical Materialism (1951). Translated by Daniel J. Herman and Donald V. Morano. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1986; Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis: Preface to Hesnard's L'Ouevre de Freud" (1960). Translated by Alden L. Fisher, in Merleau-Ponty and Psychology.  Edited by Keith Hoeller. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press, 1990:67-72.

5 Michel Foucault. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (1966). Translated by publisher. New York: Vintage, 1973: 323.

6 See for example Michel Foucault. , "The Discourse on Language" (1971). In The Archaeology of Knowledge and "The Discourse on Language." Translated by  A.M.Sheridan Smith. New York: Pantheon, 1972: 237 .

7 Friedrich Kittler. Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Translated by Michael Metteer. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990: 177-264.

8  The author and the editors of  IJBS are grateful to Ariane de Pree, the Stanford University Press, and the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jr. University for permission to reprint these selections.  The selections are taken from Tilottama Rajan. Deconstruction and the Remainders of Phenomenology: Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002.

9 Mark Poster. The Mode of Information: Poststructuralism: and Social Context. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990: 62-3.

10 Jean Baudrillard. The Ecstasy of Communication. Translated by B. and C. Schutze. New York: Semiotext(e), 1988: 97

11   Ibid., 99

12  Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death. Translated by Iain Hamilton Grant. London: Sage, 1993: 4.

13  Jean Baudrillard. The Ecstasy of Communication. Translated by B. and C. Schutze. New York: Semiotext(e), 1988: 79.

14  Christopher Norris. What's Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990: 164-93 and Christopher Norris. Uncritical Theory. 11-31, 133-4; and Douglas Kellner, Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989: 94-217.

15  Jean Baudrillard. The Ecstasy of Communication. Translated by B. and C. Schutze. New York: Semiotext(e), 1988: 79-80.

16 Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities or, The End of the Social and Other Essays (1978).  Translated by Paul Foss et. al.  New York: Semiotext(e), 1983: 106; Jean Baudrillard.  Simulacra and Simulations (1981).  Translated by Sheila Faria Glaser.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991: 16,41.

17 Jean Baudrillard. The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney: Power Institute, 1987: 47.

18 Jean Baudrillard. Fatal Strategies. Translated by Philip Beitchman and W.G.J. Niesluchowski. New York: Semiotext(e), 1990: 8.

19  Jean Baudrillard. Seduction. Translated by Brian Singer. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990: 57).

20 Ibid., 149.

21 Jean Baudrillard. Fatal Strategies. Translated by Philip Beitchman and W.G.J. Niesluchowski. New York: Semiotext(e), 1990: 182.

22 Jean Baudrillard. Seduction. Translated by Brian Singer. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990:173).

23 Ibid., 176.

24 Ibid., 177.

25 Sartre sees emotion as having a substitutive structure: what consciousness "is unable to endure in one way it tries to seize in another way"; thus "when the paths before us become too difficult....we try to change the world; that is, to live it as though the relations between things and their potentialities were not governed by deterministic processes but by magic" (Jean-Paul Sartre.  Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (1939).  Translated by Philip Mairet.  London: Methuen, 1962: 79, 63.

26 One misses the irony of such statements at one's own risk. For as Baudrillard clearly indicates "a war is not any the less heinous for being a mere simulacrum: the flesh suffers just the same". See Jean Baudrillard.  Simulacra and Simulations (1981).  Translated by Sheila Faria Glaser.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991: 70.

27 Jean Baudrillard. Seduction. Translated by Brian Singer. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990: 177).

28 Jean Baudrillard. Baudrillard Live, Selected Interviews. Edited by Mike Gane. London: Routledge, 1993: 141.

29 Jean Baudrillard. The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena (1990).  Translated by James Benedict.  London: Verso, 1993: 41.

30 Jean Baudrillard.  Baudrillard Live, Selected Interviews. Edited by Mike Gane. London: Routledge, 1993: 58.

31 Jean Baudrillard. The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney: Power Institute, 1987: 43-4.

32 Jean Baudrillard. Fatal Strategies. Translated by Philip Beitchman and W.G.J. Niesluchowski. New York: Semiotext(e), 1990: 10).

33 Jean Baudrillard, Baudrillard Live, Selected Interviews. Edited by Mike Gane. London: Routledge, 1993:139.

34 Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities or, The End of the Social and Other Essays (1978).  Translated by Paul Foss et. al.  New York: Semiotext(e), 1983: 102.

35 Jean Baudrillard.  Simulacra and Simulations (1981).  Trans. Sheila Faria Glaser.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991: 5.

36 Jean Baudrillard. The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney: Power Institute, 1987: 46; Jean Baudrillard. Baudrillard Live, Selected Interviews. Edited by Mike Gane. London: Routledge, 1993: 177.

37 Klossowski's interest in medieval heresies is clearest in his strange novel The Baphomet  (1965). Translated by Sophie Hawkes and Stephen Sartarelli. New York: Marsilio, 1998, which provides a Manichean genealogy for his interest in Nietzsche and Sade. On Klossowski see Jean-Pol Madou. Démons et simulacres dans l'ouevre de Pierre Klossowski.  Paris: Klincksieck, 1987:114-116. Madou sees Klossowski's corpus (including books on Sade and Nietzsche and works of fiction that combine heresy and pornography) as continuing Bataille's attempt to recover "la part maudite" in the face of an awareness of the economic and commodification that is much more intense than Bataille's.

38 Jean-Paul Madou. Démons et simulacres dans l'ouevre de Pierre KlossowskiParis: Klincksieck, 1987: 88 (translation is mine).

39 Michel Foucault. "The Prose of Actaeon" (1964), in Pierre Klossowski. The Baphomet (1965).  Translated by Sophie Hawkes and Stephen Sartarelli. New York: Marsilio, 1998: xxvi-viii, xxxiii.

40 Jean Baudrillard. Seduction. Translated by Brian Singer. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990: 177.

41 Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra and Simulations (1981).  Translated by Sheila Faria Glaser.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991: 40; Mario Perniola, La Società dei Simulacri. Bologna: Capelli, 1980: 121-2, 127-8. Two chapters of Perniola's book--one on simulacra and one on seduction--were published in Traverses, a journal to which Baudrillard frequently contributed and with which he was associated (10 February, 1978 and 18 February, 1980).

42 Mario Perniola.  La Società dei Simulacri. Bologna: Capelli, 1980: 125.  Perniola traces this technology back to Loyola and the Jesuits (122-5, 127), as Baudrillard had earlier done in Symbolic Exchange and Death. (1976). Translated by  Iain Hamilton Grant.  London: Sage, 1993:52-3.

43 Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra and Simulations (1981).  Translated by Sheila Faria Glaser.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991: 4.

44 Jean Baudrillard. Paroxysm: Interviews with Philippe Petit (1997). Trans. Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1998: 28.

45 Jean Baudrillard. The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney: Power Institute, 1987: 29.

46 Mario Perniola, La Società dei Simulacri. . Bologna: Capelli, 1980: 118.

47 Jean Baudrillard, Paroxysm: Interviews with Philippe Petit (1997). Trans. Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1998: 25,40; Jean Baudrillard. The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney: Power Institute, 1987: 13-15,52.

48 Søren Kierkegaard. The Concept of Irony.  Translated by Lee M. Capel.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972: 278.

49 Jean Baudrillard. The Illusion of the End (1992).  Translated by Chris Turner.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994: 115.

50 Jean Baudrillard. America (1986). Translated by Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1989: 9.

51 Mike Gane. Critical and Fatal Theory. .  London: Routledge, 1991: 182.

52 Jean Baudrillard. Paroxysm: Interviews with Philippe Petit (1997). Translated by Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1998: 82.

53 Jean Baudrillard America (1986). Translated by Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1989: 3-6.

54 Ibid., 1, 5, 6.

55  Michel Foucault. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Vintage, 1973:387.

56  Baudrillard America (1986). Translated by Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1989: 69.

57 Ibid., 51, 55.

58 Jean Baudrillard. Paroxysm: Interviews with Philippe Petit (1997). Translated by Chris Turner. London: Verso, 1998: 82.


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