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The Work of Giorgio AgambenLaw, Literature, Life$
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Justin Clemens and Nicholas Heron

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748634620

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634620.001.0001

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Beyond Spectacle and the Image: the Poetics of Guy Debord and Agamben

Beyond Spectacle and the Image: the Poetics of Guy Debord and Agamben

(p.164) Chapter 10 Beyond Spectacle and the Image: the Poetics of Guy Debord and Agamben
The Work of Giorgio Agamben

Murray Alex

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reviews the crucial relationship Giorgio Agamben forges with the work of Guy Debord and the concept of ‘the society of the spectacle’. It isolates three key moments in which a relationship between the two thinkers can be productively pursued: the critique of the spectacle and commodity fetishism, the image and cinema, and the idea of a critical ‘poetics’ of life. The role of Debord in Agamben's theoretical project is arguably much greater than the concordance in their critique of the spectacle. The work of language in power is not to obscure meaning, but to obscure the space in between, the taking place of language as such. Agamben's own call for an ‘ethics’ may seem antithetical to Debord's position.

Keywords:   Giorgio Agamben, Guy Debord, spectacle, language, ethics, poetics

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