Situationist International Anthology
Author: Ken Knabb
Publisher: Bureau of Public Secrets
Size: 5 x 7.5
Page count: 532
Subjects: History, Situationism, Anarchism
In 1957 a few European avant-garde groups came together to form the Situationist International. Picking up where the dadaists and surrealists had left off, the situationists challenged people’s passive conditioning with carefully calculated scandals and the playful tactic of détournement. Seeking a more extreme social revolution than was dreamed of by most leftists, they developed an incisive critique of the global spectacle-commodity system and of its “Communist” pseudo-opposition, and their new methods of agitation helped trigger the May 1968 revolt in France. Since then situationist theories and tactics have continued to inspire radical currents all over the world.
The Situationist International Anthology is the most comprehensive and accurately translated collection of situationist writings in English. It presents a rich variety of articles, leaflets, graffiti, and internal documents, ranging from experiments in “psychogeography” to lucid analyses of the Watts riot, the Vietnam War, the Prague Spring, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and other crises and upheavals of the sixties.
For this new edition the translations have all been fine-tuned and over 100 pages of new material have been added.
“In the U.S.A. the Situationist International is mostly known as a small group of dadaist provocateurs that had something to do with the May 1968 uprising in France. The name has been batted around in reference to punk, because Sex Pistols Svengali Malcolm McLaren supposedly was connected with the situationists. The situationists were, ah, sort of like the Yippies, one hears. Or New York’s Motherfuckers. . . . The Situationist International Anthology makes it clear that the Situationist International was something considerably more interesting: perhaps the most lucid and adventurous band of extremists of the last quarter century. It makes almost all present-day political and aesthetic thinking seem cowardly. . . . It is exhilarating to read this book. ”—Greil Marcus
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