Monday, May 12, 2008
Miller, Daniel. "Writing on the Wall." NEW HUMANIST 123.3 (2008).
Forty years ago this month, as barriers went up on the streets around Paris, swathes of lyrical slogans started to appear on its walls. “Do not adjust your TV set, there is a fault in reality”; “We don’t want a world where the guarantee of not dying of starvation brings the risk of dying of boredom”; “We are the writing on the wall”. The handiwork of militant students possessed neither of party cards nor of clearly fixed doctrines, the phrases would survive the events and become emblematic of them. For better or worse, May 1968 would go down in history as a revolt of poets. A disproportionate number of these poets hailed from the new university of Nanterre, where they had been the students of the charismatic sociology teacher Henri Lefebvre. A one-time associate of both the Surrealists and the Situationists, a former taxi-driver and a former distinguished resistance fighter (and in the meantime, a still notoriously virile ladies’ man), the roguish Lefebvre had arrived at Nanterre shortly after its 1964 inception, following a stint at the other major centre of late-’60s French student unrest, the University of Strasbourg. . . . Read the rest here: http://newhumanist.org.uk/1780.