Hillel Schwartz: The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles, 2nd ed. (1996/2013)

7 March 2014, dusan

The Culture of the Copy is an unprecedented attempt to make sense of the Western fascination with replicas, duplicates, and twins. In a work that is breathtaking in its synthetic and critical achievements, Hillel Schwartz charts the repercussions of our entanglement with copies of all kinds, whose presence alternately sustains and overwhelms us. Through intriguing, and at times humorous, historical analysis and case studies in contemporary culture, Schwartz investigates a stunning array of simulacra—counterfeits, decoys, mannequins, and portraits; ditto marks, genetic cloning, war games, and camouflage; instant replays, digital imaging, parrots, and photocopies; wax museums, apes, and art forgeries, not to mention the very notion of the Real McCoy. Working through a range of theories on biological, mechanical, and electronic repro­duction, Schwartz questions the modern esteem for authenticity and uniqueness. The Culture of the Copy shows how the ethical dilemmas central to so many fields of endeavor have become inseparable from our pursuit of copies—of the natural world, of our own creations, indeed of our very selves.

This updated edition takes notice of recent shifts in thought with regard to such issues as biological cloning, conjoined twins, copyright, digital reproduction, and multiple personality disorder. At once abbreviated and refined, it will be of interest to anyone concerned with proglems of authenticity, identity, and originality.

First published in 1996
Publisher Zone Books, New York, 2013
ISBN 1935408453, 9781935408451
480 pages

Review (Terence Hawkes, London Review of Books, 1997)
Review (Francis Kane, The New York Times, 1997)
Review (Todd Gitlin, Los Angeles Times, 1997)

Publisher
Google books

Download (removed on 2014-3-20 upon request of the publisher)