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The philosopher clown

Jean Baudrillard, the high priest of post-modernism, meets Marina Benjamin at the Ritz, and tells her that news has destroyed reality and that history is running backwards

By Marina Benjamin   July 1997

I em nouthing,” Jean Baudrillard informed me, throwing his hands into the air in emphatic accompaniment. Thousands would disagree. Currently France’s most successful intellectual export, this retired sociologist turned philosopher causes a stir wherever he goes. Last year, tickets to hear him expound his philosophy of disappearance at the Institute of Contemporary Arts were like gold dust. Hundreds of fans queued in vain for returns, and one distraught young man threatened to kill himself if he was not let in. A few weeks ago, after a whirlwind tour of Brazil, Baudrillard returned to the ICA to kick off its “Big…

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