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Article published on 25 April 2009
last modification on 26 April 2009

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Books

1. Author

A. Pamphlets and Booklets

- The Realization and Suppression of Religion
By Ken Knabb, Bureau of Public Secrets. Radical pamphlets in American collections: anarchism collection, fiche no. 1.1.1961

  • Berkeley : Bureau of Public Secrets, [1977]
  • Microreproduction of original, published Berkeley, Ca, Bureau of Public Secrets, 1977. 15p.
  • Alexandria, Va : Chadwyck-Healey Inc., 1987.
  • Reprinted in Public Secrets (below)
Do We Need Snyder for Poet-Priest? (1970)

In This Theater... (1970)
Ode on the Absence of Real Poetry Here This Afternoon(1970)
Bureaucratic Comix (1971)
Critique of the New Left Movement (Contradiction, 1972):

Antifascism and the Cybernetic Welfare State
Yippies and Weathermen
Communes and Collectives
Women’s Liberation
On the Poverty of Hip Life (Contradiction, 1972)

Remarks on Contradiction and Its Failure(1973)
“Reich: How To Use” (comic poster) (1973)
Reich: How To Use(Voyer, 1971)
Discretion Is the Better Part of Value (Voyer, 1973)

Double-Reflection (1974)
Theory of Poverty, Poverty of Theory (Denevert, 1973)
To Clarify Some Aspects of the Moment (chapter 3) (Denevert,
1972)
Declaration Concerning the Center for Research on the Social Question (CRQS, 1974)

Notice Concerning the Reigning Society and Those Who Contest It
(Carrión, Cooperstein, Cronin, Hammer, Knabb,
Rosenberg, Shutes, 1974)
The Blind Men and the Elephant (1975)
Bureau of Public Secrets #1 (1976):

The Society of Situationism

Notes Toward a Situationist Manifesto (Charles & Denevert,
1975)
Arms and the Woman (Charles, 1975)
From Science’s End (Moinet, 1974)

A Short Guide to the Anglo-American Situationist Image

Trouble Is My Business
Affective Détournement: A Case Study
Open Letter to the Tokyo “Libertaire” Group (1977)

A Radical Group in Hong Kong (1978)
The Opening in Iran (1979)
Banalities (1979)
(1990):

The War and the Spectacle (1991)

On René Viénet’s Film Can Dialectics Break
Bricks?
(1992)
Los Angeles 1965/1992 (excerpt from SI text below) (1992)
Watts 1965: The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity
Economy
(Situationist International, 1965)
Strong Lessons for Engaged Buddhists (1993)

On Guy Debord’s Film The Society of the
Spectacle
(1996)
Situationist Bibliography(updated)

B. Books

-  The Relevance of Rexroth. Bureau of Public Secrets, 1990. 88 p.
ISBN 0-939682-02-8

1. Life and Literature
2. Magnanimity and Mysticism
3. Society and Revolution
Notes and Bibliography

The complete text of this small book is also included in Public Secrets.

Online text

- Public Secrets: Collected Skirmishes of Ken Knabb. Published by Bureau of Public Secrets, 1997. 408 p.
ISBN 0-939682-03-6

Ken Knabb has translated numerous works by Guy Debord and the Situationist International. Public Secrets is a comprehensive collection of his own writings over a period of three decades.

The first half of the book consists of two new texts. “The Joy of Revolution” is a series of observations on the problems and possibilities of a global antihierarchical revolution. Beginning with a brief overview of the failure of Bolshevism and the inadequacy of reformism, it examines the pros and cons of a wide range of radical tactics, then concludes with some speculations on what a liberated society might be like. “Confessions of a Mild-Mannered Enemy of the State” is largely concerned with Knabb’s situationist activities, but it also includes reminiscences of the sixties counterculture and accounts of his Zen practice and other later ventures.

The second half of the book contains virtually all of Knabb’s previous publications. Beginning with his 1970 disruption of a Gary Snyder poetry reading, it includes critiques of the New Left and the counterculture; accounts of situationist groups, tactics and scandals; translations of several French texts; an appreciation of the great writer and social critic, Kenneth Rexroth; pamphlets, posters, comics and articles on Wilhelm Reich, radical Buddhists, Japanese anarchists, Chinese dissidents, the 1970 Polish revolt, the 1979 Iranian uprising; and the widely reproduced Gulf war tract, “The War and the Spectacle.”

The aim throughout is to bring the real choices into the open and to incite people to make their own radical experiments.

Table of Contents and online texts


The greatest hits, and a fine read for anyone interested in situationist ideas, anarchism, the 60s counterculture and beyond. Includes both two substantial new texts - ’The Joy Of Revolution’ and ’Autobiography, ’ and reprints of all his old pamphlets, co-authored work, and translations of various situationist texts. A veritable treasure trove of pamphlets, texts, posters, comics, articles, leaflets and essays. Over 400 pages, and every one is a winner!

2. Translator (and contributor)

- Situationist International Anthology (Published by Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981. 406 pages
ISBN 0939682001, 9780939682003

  • Edited and translated from the French by Ken Knabb
    Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. 532 pages
    ISBN 978-0-939682-04-1

In 1957 a few European avant-garde groups came together to form the Situationist International. Picking up where the dadaists and surrealists had left off, the situationists challenged people’s passive conditioning with carefully calculated scandals and the playful tactic of détournement. Seeking a more extreme social revolution than was dreamed of by most leftists, they developed an incisive critique of the global spectacle-commodity system and of its “Communist” pseudo-opposition, and their new methods of agitation helped trigger the May 1968 revolt in France. Since then — although the SI itself was dissolved in 1972 — situationist theories and tactics have continued to inspire radical currents all over the world. The Situationist International Anthology, generally recognized as the most comprehensive and accurately translated collection of situationist writings in English, presents a rich variety of articles, leaflets, graffiti and internal documents, ranging from early experiments in “psychogeography” to lucid analyses of the Watts riot, the Vietnam War, the Prague Spring, the Chinese Cultural Revolution and other crises and upheavals of the sixties. For this new edition the translations have all been fine-tuned and over 100 pages of new material have been added.

- Guy Debord’s Complete cinematic works: scripts, stills, documents
By Guy Debord, Ken Knabb. Translated and edited by Ken Knabb. San Francisco: AK Press, 2003. 258 pp. illus. Hardcover. ISBN 1902593731, 9781902593739

- Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle Translated by Ken Knabb
Contributor Ken Knabb. Rebel Press, 1983. 119 pages
ISBN 0946061122, 9780946061129

  • AK Press, 1983. Hardcover (ISBN 1-902593-73-1),
    Paperback (ISBN 1-902593-83-9)
The Das Kapital of the 20th century. An essential text, and the main theoretical work of the situationists. Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960’s up to the present, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism, and everyday life in the late 20th century. This new edition is the Ken Knabb translation. Certainly it has the most "modern" design of all three editions, as well as a short new introduction from the translator
  • (2004)
    - Guy Debord: Complete Cinematic Works Translated and edited by Ken Knabb. San Francisco: AK Press, 2003. 258 pp. illus. Hardcover

Articles

1. Author

- "Utopia or bust. (Politics)", Social Policy (22-DEC-02)
- "Reflections on the Uprising in France; Lessons Learned" Open Ed News Com, (May 30, 2006)
- "Lessons for Engaged Buddhists and Evading the Transformation of Reality", Social Policy, (September 22, 2002).
- "Beyond Voting" , Open Ed News Com, (October 19, 2006)

2. Translator

- "Tear Down the Cathedrals and Replace Them with Ruins. Proposals for Rationally Improving the City of Paris. By LETTRIST INTERNATIONAL, Counterpunch.

"Projet d’embellissements rationnels de la ville de Paris" originally appeared in Potlatch #23 ( October 13, 1955). Translated by Ken Knabb.

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