Pierre Joris translates some of Raoul Vaneigem's stanzas (from Vaneigem's Journal Imaginaire):

The necessity to adapt to the surrounding environment for survival is an animal behavior. The primary human action consists in creating an environment that is favorable to the development of life.

Pierre says, "of the core Situationists, Vaneigem has always seemed to me at least as interesting and often more so than his ex-companion, Guy Debord". I can't agree. The vaguely hippy quality of each of the six stanzas that Pierre quotes is, for me, precisely why Vaneigem was never as interesting, insightful or essential as Debord. Good to know about the Journal Imaginaire, though. Its existence had quite passed me by.

Readers Comments

  1. Andrew Gallix Monday 31 July 2006

    Essential, Debord? A boring alcoholic snob, more like. When are people going to recognise that the Emperor has no clothes on?

  2. Certainly essential. Most definitely. Whilst flawed (and, erm, what critique of society isn't!?), with too much concentration on consumption and none on production, Society of the Spectacle remains a crucial read for understanding capitalist society. He may very well have been an "alcoholic snob", but he was an incisive (if one-tracked) thinker and a beautful writer.

  3. Andrew Gallix Monday 31 July 2006

    He was not a beautiful writer -- that's the cliche. La Société du spectable is one of the most tedious books ever written. There's one good idea in there and it wasn't his. Drank like a fish though.

  4. Hello chaps,

    I drink like a fish and prefer Vaneigem; does that, somehow, make me essential?

    lee x

  5. It makes you a nutter! Actually, you're both nutters!

  6. Cool!

    Cheers Mark x

  7. Andrew Gallix Monday 31 July 2006

    Lee is right. Debord actually spoiled Situationism.

  8. Andrew Gallix Monday 31 July 2006

    I see that Beyond Sleep is your book of the week. Good description of La Société du Spectacle.

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