The history I am writing about here takes place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It lasts less than ten years. “History” is perhaps too strong a term, in that what is involved is merely a conversation between two sociologists – Baudrillard and myself – in a lecture hall of the Department of Sociology at the University of Nanterre. But it may seem acceptable, perhaps, if we take the view that history is what we deem worthy of remembrance. And when we look now at those who listened to that conversation, those who followed that distinctly unacademic course and who still speak of it as a moment stolen from the seriousness of the university and the graveness of life, this seems to be the case. Many actually embellish or embroider upon it, lending it a retrospective appeal that was by no...

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