TamTam Books News

Thursday, July 22, 2004:

I have been waiting for this book to come out for awhile now. I am happy to see that Guy Debord’s masterpiece and autobiography of sorts "Panegyric: Volumes 1 and 2" will be released in November 2004. James Brooks and John McHale translate the book. The first part of the autobiography, "Volume 1" came out some years ago – and is now out of print. "Volume 2" has never been translated into English till now. So it is a real treat to have both volumes in one package

Here’s the information from the Verso (they are the publishers) catalogue.

"I have written less than most writers. But I have drunk far more than most drinkers.

"All my life I have seen only troubled times, extreme divisions in society, and immense destruction; I have joined in these troubles.

"My method will be very simple. I will tell of what I have loved; and, in this light, everything else will become evident…

"Over the years, more than half the people I knew well had sojourned one or several times in the prisons of various countries; many, no doubt, for political reasons, but all the same a greater number for common law offenses or crimes. So I met mainly rebels or the poor.

"Our only manifestations, which remained rather rare and bried in the first years, were meant to be completely unacceptable; at first, expecially by their form and, later, as they acquired depth, especially by their content. They were not accepted."

Guy Debord, as founding and pivotal figure of the Situationist International, pursued one of the twentieth century’s most arch and exciting assaults on modern life. Panegyric is Debord’s audacious autobiography, and here for the first time in English is the second, beautifully illustrated volume published together with the spare and classical text of the first. A rare combination of poetry and precision, it tells of something even rarer: a life that refused to adjust to the dominant malignancies of its time.

"… a philosopher whose scathing pen has never been so sharp." — John Taylor, San Francisco Chronicle

"As cryptic and self-effacing a self-portrait as can be found anywhere … Panegyric is almost purely literary, in the sense that one need know or care nothing of the author to be captured by it: Debord is seeking to hijack his era into timelessness." — Greil Marcus, London Review of Books

"Panegyric means more than eulogy. Eulogy no doubt includes praise of the personage but it does not exclude a certain criticism, a certain blame. Panegyric comprises neither blame nor criticism." – Littré, Dictionnaire de la langue française

Guy Debord was born in 1931 in Paris. From 1958 to 1969 he edited the journal Internationale situationniste and published La société du spectacle in 1967. Among his other works are Commentaires sur la société du spectacle (1988, published in English by Verso in 1990). He committed suicide on the 30 November 1994

Tosh // 8:28 AM

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