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McDonough, Tom

The Beautiful language of My Century". Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945-1968.


Cambridge (Mass.) & London; The MIT Press, 2007. 23,5x18,5 cm. (7, 3 blanks), 273, (1 blank) pp. Illustrated. Publisher's cloth with printed dustjacket. Foot of spine is slightly bumped. Name on front paste-down (Karl Steinick, 2007). A fine copy. "In postwar France, the aesthetics of appropriation and collage gave cultural form to a struggle over meaning. A new wave of avant-garde experimentation used—or stole, plagiarized, and expropriated—elements from advertising, journalism, literature, art, and other sources of common discourse (the ironically named "beautiful language" of this book's title, itself an appropriation from Guy Debord's collaged Mémoires). Redeployed, often in startling or pointed juxtapositions, these elements took on newly oppositional meanings. A famous photograph taken inside the occupied Sorbonne in May 1968, for example, shows a massive academic painting altered by a clever cartoonish speech bubble that transforms the painting into a parody of itself and memorializes an event very different from the one captured by the original artist. The Beautiful Language of My Century describes the various forms of critical culture that culminated in the events of May 1968, and investigates the ways those forms have come down to us today.

 200 SEK 

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