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Au revoir Baudrillard

The last of the great French postmodernists has gone. His ideas were often mocked, but many of them were less ridiculous than they seem

By Simon Blackburn   April 2007

In the play Travesties, Tom Stoppard’s character James Joyce asks: “What now of the Trojan war if it had been passed over by the artist’s touch? Dust. A forgotten expedition prompted by Greek merchants looking for new markets. A minor redistribution of broken pots.” Contrast what it is for us, mediated by Homer: an epic of gods and heroes, struggle, lust and glory. The point generalises. Thackeray remarked how a bald, stupid, heartless little man with a paunch became the majestic Louis XIV if put in the right shoes, robes and wig—and that then, having set up the fantasy, we…

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