A snooty, postmodern anti-travelogue by Parisian Baudrillard--who travels across America in a Chrysler and doesn't much...

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AMERICA

A snooty, postmodern anti-travelogue by Parisian Baudrillard--who travels across America in a Chrysler and doesn't much admire what he finds. Beginning in San Antonio, the author puts his foot on the gas and goes out in search of ""astral America. . .not social and cultural America, but the America of the empty, absolute freedom of the freeways. . .of motels and mineral surfaces."" Unfortunately, he finds it in a slew of depressing scenes randomly punctuated by postmodern banalities: ""how far can we go in the nonreferential desert form without cracking up. . .?"" Not long. Sweeping through New York City, Baudrillard takes in ethnic diversity, modern demolition, break-dancing, lunatics on the streets, and skateboarders holed up in self-contained Walkman spaces. The West Coast doesn't fare much better. For Baudrillard, America is a giant hologram--a big image-spewing facility feeding back in on itself, nostalgic (especially for the 50's), neurotic, drained of power. It's not a pretty sight. The flip-side of Kerouac's eulogies for the continent--written in an associational style that at times comes close to a parody of bad Beat prose. Illustrations to match.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0860919781

Page Count: -

Publisher: Verso--dist. by Routledge

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988