The Long Walk of the Situationist International by Greil Marcus

1960s: Days of Rage


“I first became intrigued with the Situ­ationist International in 1979, when I strug­gled through ‘Le Bruit et la Fureur,’ one of the anonymous lead articles in the first issue of the journal Internationale Situationniste. The writer reviewed the exploits of artistic rebels in the postwar West as if such matters had real political consequences, and then said this: ‘The rotten egg smell exuded by the idea of God envelops the mystical cretins of the American Beat Generation, and is not even entirely absent from the declarations of the Angry Young Men… They have simply come to change their opinions about a few social conventions without even noticing the whole change of terrain of all cultural activ­ity so evident in every avant-garde tendency of this century. The Angry Young Men are in fact particularly reactionary in their attribution of a privileged, redemptive value to the practice of literature: they are…

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