Simulacrum (2505 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Paul Hegarty (University College Cork)
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The simulacrum is a form of copy that imitates falsely, that claims to be real rather than a representation, and thus threatens the act of representation itself. The notion of the simulacrum has thus never been far from judgements about good and evil: it is the product of deception, often for gain. Such is the sense we get from Plato in The Sophist and in The Republic where he reflects on the relation of the real to representation, notably in the allegory of the cave, where, despite its difficulties, he never abandons the desirability of truth, and reflection on how we share truth or thoughts about it. At the other end of the historical spectrum we have Jean Baudrillard who has recently made much of the term, and …

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Hegarty, Paul. "Simulacrum". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 January 2006
[, accessed 19 October 2017.]

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