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Vaneigem, Raoul (b. 1934)

Roger Farr


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Raoul Vaneigem is a writer and social philosopher born, and currently residing, in Belgium. He is the author of dozens of books and tracts on politics, literature, and the history of ideas, many of which have been written pseudonymously. Vaneigem's influence and reputation are largely due to his role as a leading theoretician for the Situationist International (SI), from the time he joined the organization in 1961 until his forced resignation in 1970. Along with Guy Debord , to whom he was introduced by the sociologist Henri Lefebvre, Vaneigem's work was instrumental in shaping the intellectual and political culture of France in the 1960s. His much-cited book Traité du savoir-vivre à l'usage des jeunes générations (1967; published in English as The Revolution of Everyday Life) , written in Paris between 1963 and 1965 and published in 1967, is often read, along with Debord's Society of the Spectacle , as having prompted the 1968 student and worker unrest in France. Prior to his contact with the SI, Vaneigem studied romance philology and French literature at the Free University of Brussels, graduating in 1956 with a dissertation on Lautréamont, a figure whom Vaneigem views as exemplary of a certain tradition within French culture which has as “its basic principle the abolition of culture as a separate sphere through the realization of art and philosophy in everyday life” (1976/1999: ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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