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Self-proclaimed leader of the Situationist International, Guy Debord was certainly responsible for the longevity and high profile of Situationist ideas, although the equation of the SI with Guy Debord would be misleading. Brilliant but autocratic, Debord helped both unify situationist praxis and destroy its expansion into areas not explicitly in line with his own ideas. His text The Society of the Spectacle remains today one of the great theoretical works on modern-day capital, cultural imperialism, and the role of mediation in social relationships.

After the dissolution of the Situationist International, Debord was tangentially implicated in the assassination of his friend and publisher Gérard Lebovici. The accusations infuriated Debord, and he consequently prohibited the showing of his films in France during his lifetime. Debord continued writing, and in 1989 he published his Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle, arguing that everything he wrote in 1967 was still true, with one major exeception: the society of the spectacle had reached a new form, that of the integrated spectacle. The prospect of overturning the society of the spectacle seemed more unlikely than ever. In December of 1994, at the age of 62, Debord killed himself. The French press, who had always repudiated the significance of the Situationist International, suddenly made him a celebrity.

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Society of the Spectacle

Click here for a complete listing of Debord articles and books in English

La Société du Spectacle

Cliquer ici pour un résumé d'autres articles de Guy Debord en français

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I am always looking for copies of Situationist Texts in both French and English. If you have any texts not published in the journals, please contact me.

Je suis toujours à la recherche des articles et essais situationnistes soit en anglais ou français. Si vous avez des textes qui ne sont pas apparus dans le journal IS, signalez-moi.