January 19, 2006 by AK
The great Victor Pelevin, in A Macedonian Critique of French Thought (it’s a pity Slavoj Zizek is Slovenian), tells a phantasmagoric tale of a certain Kika, a graduate of Sorbonne’s philosophy department and son of a Russian Tatar oligarch, who, due firstly to Baudrillard, uncovered the mystery of the universe. For now, two bits for fun.
According to his logic, even bits and pieces of what one has heard are enough to demonstrate a complete uselessness of the “great French philosophers.” There is no need to turn to their original texts, especially since, as Kika puts it, “a blunt mind will drown like a steam iron in an ocean of sh-t, and a sharp one, like a damask blade.”
Here is, for example, how he compares the two philosophers, Baudrillard and Derrida:
As for Jean Baudrillard, one can replace in his writings all affirmative sentences with negative ones without doing any damage to their meaning. Besides, one can replace all nouns with their antonyms — again, with no consequences. More than that: one can do this at the same time, in any order, or even several times in a row — and the reader will not feel a noticeable difference. But Jacques Derrida, as a true intellectual will agree, plunges more deeply and stays plunged for a longer time. While in Baudrillard one can still substitute the meaning with the opposite, in Derrida — in most cases — it is impossible to change the meaning of a sentence, by whatever manipulations.
It is striking that Kika is always irritated especially by Jean Baudrillard, whom he often calls “Baudrillacre” — by analogy with the term “simulacre” (which Kika monstrously abuses in “Macedonian Critique,” though making a reservation: “The reader understands that the word “simulacre” as I use it is but a simulacre of Baudrillard’s term “simulacre.”)