New York, 11 November. – Silver Lotringer, French philosopher, literary critic and author, founder of Semiotext (e), an influential publishing house that introduced French post-structural and contemporary theories to American educational audiences, died long after at the age of 83. Disease, in the Mexican city of Ensenada in Baja California. He was considered the champion of being renamed ‘French Doctrine’, recalling “The Art New” which provided the missing message.
He studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and received his doctorate in 1967 from École Pratique des Hautes tudes. He was Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School and Professor of French Literature and Philosophy at Columbia University in New York. , Co-authored a series of books with Lotringer Paul Virilio and Jean Patrillard. He considered himself a joker, a “foreign agent provocateur” in the United States, and devoted much of his life to integrating the most advanced French philosophical principles with American culture. He developed the concept of “extrapolationism” as a tool to describe exaggerated but accurate worldviews shared by Patriller and Virgilio.
He edited the volume “Interviews” written by writer and poet Pete William Burrows (Il Saggiatore, 2018) and published his book “Pazzi di Artaud” (Medusa Edizioni, 2006) in Italian, which is a sleazy, harsh but funny portrait. Writer Anton Ardot, theorist of “cruel drama”.
As author of Semiotext (e) Lotringer was instrumental in introducing new French theories to the United States, from Dada to Surrealism, from situationalism to structuralism to post-structuralism, as well as anthropology and semiotics.
Lotringer decided to introduce to the United States more fluid ideas of power and desire developed by Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Michel Foucault. While still a part of the academy, Lotringer founded a magazine called “Semiotext (e)” with a group of Columbia University students in 1974 as a strategy to position itself outside the academy, which later became a publisher. The idea was to discuss science through the practice of “materialist” semiotics. In 1975, as part of the magazine’s provocative activities, he organized a lecture on “Schizo-Culture” on insanity and imprisonment at Columbia University: great American artists such as John Cage and William Burroughs had the opportunity to meet French thinkers for the first time. Such as Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari and Jean-François Lyotard. In 1978 he started an influential Semiotechtext (e) book series entitled “Foreign Agents”, which was responsible for introducing the works of Patriller, Telus and Virilio to the American people.
One of Sylvère Lotringer’s main interests lies in alternative social movements that challenge current power relations. Defining himself as a “foreign agent provocation” in the United States, he traveled to Italy in 1979 and documented the Autonomia Opera movement, which was later described in the book “Italy: Autonomia – Post-Political Politics” (1980). In the 1990s, he invited former black pundit Doruba bin-Wahd to collaborate on the publication of a collection of books entitled “More Black, More Stronger”. Over the past decade, Lotringer has published the works of Paulo Virno, Christian Marasi and Antonio Negri, underlining his renewed interest in Italian political theory.
Born in Paris in 1938 to Polish Jewish parents, Lotringer’s early childhood was marked by Nazi occupation; In 1949 he emigrated with his family to Israel and joined the Hashmer-Hatcher Zionist Socialist Youth Movement, of which he was a member for eight years, eventually becoming the leader of the organization.
(By Palo Martini)
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