Read e-book online Henri Lefebvre: A Critical Introduction PDF

By Andy Merrifield

Thinker, sociologist and concrete theorist, Henri Lefebvre is without doubt one of the nice social theorists of the 20th century. This obtainable and cutting edge advent to the paintings of Lefebvre combines biography and concept in a serious review of the dynamics of Lefebvre's personality, notion, and instances. Exploring key Lefebvrian innovations, Andy Merrifield demonstrates the evolution of Lefebvre's philosophy, whereas stressing the way in which his lengthy and adventurous lifetime of principles and political engagement live to tell the tale as a permanent and encouraging interrelated complete.

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He laid low with locals, and with local maquisands, until the Liberation. He got to know mountain shepherds on the slopes, studied them, learned their rituals and folklore and façon de vivre, and even spotted a sort of primitive communism in their daily life. 7 Methodologically, Lefebvre deployed a sort of “participant observation,” which, coupled with long sessions in the archives of Campan’s Town Hall, led him to discover a passion for historical excavation he never knew he had. Jean-Paul Sartre, for one, appreciated the virtues of Lefebvre’s rural “regressive–progressive” methodology—a methodology informing his work on urbanism and space decades later.

Seriousness had an official tone, oppressed, frightened, bound, lied, and wore the mask of hypocrisy. It still does: we know this world all too well. (Or else the laughter of presidents exhibits real buffoonery, a little like the moronic Ubu Roi of Alfred Jarry, Rabelais’s more modern successor. ”) But on festival day, all masks were dropped, all ideology exposed, all pretence pilloried. On festival day, another more immediate truth was heard, in frank and simple terms, amidst the laughter and the foolishness—because of the impropriety and parody.

How could they otherwise? Grappling for answers, he journeys a little closer to home, looks over his shoulder, and remembers his roots. indb 13 1/13/06 11:42:40 AM Henri Lefebvre known a tradition that is the veritable nemesis of insurgent forms of modern alienation: the rural festival. The drama usually ended in rowdy scuffles and raving orgies; festival days were rough and tumble and full of vitality, and Lefebvre loved them and romanticized them in adulthood. ) Festivals seeped into Lefebvre’s Marxist conscience, activated involuntary memory, and aroused primordial visions of infant paradise, tasting a little like a Proustian madeleine dipped in tea; the sensation recreated the past, only to unlock the Pandora’s box of the future.

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