Clément Paradis


From the hotel to the brothel: Proust’s capitalist ballet

This is the text version of a conference I did for the Historical Materialism conference 2014, which took place at the SOAS in London. I didn't turn it into a proper article, hence the lack of precise references. The Proust quotes are taken from the Penguin book edition, but sometimes I touched up the translation to be, in my view, closer to the french text.

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Sound of Midnight - The Theory of Bitter Fun

“We’re having big fun and the party’s just begun”… That’s what Innercity was singing in 1988. I remember it, in a way. It was cool, and everybody wants to be cool. Everybody wants to party. I was too young at the time, but somehow I was eager to join the bandwagon. I had a brain wave in my teens, probably as I was reading Bret Easton Ellis’ Glamorama. It was a kind of revelation: “That’s it! That’s what I want to do with my life!” Party, hard.

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