Introduction: Michel de Certeau - in the plural



Publication Details

Buchanan, I. 2001, 'Introduction: Michel de Certeau-in the plural', South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 100, no. 2, pp. 323-329.


Pluralism, before becoming at Vatican II a doctrine or a program. was a fact. - Michel de Certcau, "Is There a Language of Unity?"

Every so often it becomes necessary to try to find the means of rescuing perception from the blind fatalisms of orthodoxy. In 1974 , for instance, Jean-Francois Lyotard , having grown tired of the incessant debates over the proper way to read Marx, announced that it was high time for a whole new way of reading him, one that owed nothing to previous attempts. Somehow, Marx had to be read differently, from the perspective of consumption, not production. As such, it wasn't just a correction of existing interpretations that Lyotard sought but an end to an entire mode of interpreting Marx and the creation of a fresh means of engaging with his texts. "We must come to take Marx as if he were a writer, an author full of affects," and so "take his text as a madness and not as a theory." This would mean treating him as "a work of art" infused with "the desire named Marx."

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