Stratagem of the Corpse

Stratagem of the Corpse

Dying with Baudrillard, a Study of Sickness and Simulacra

By Gary J Shipley
Foreword by William Pawlet

Anthem Series on Radical Theory

Stratagem of the Corpse is a philosophical and literary exposition of death not so much as seen by Baudrillard but Baudrillard as seen by death.

PDF, 222 Pages


January 2020

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 222 Pages


January 2020

£25.00, $40.00

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About This Book

This book is unique in its dedicated tackling of the subject of death in the work of Jean Baudrillard. Through new readings of his work, juxtaposed with philosophical (Schopenhauer, Kant) and artistic (Jeremy Millar, Ron Mueck) examples along with films (Norte, the End of History; Ida), the book makes so patently clear the importance of Baudrillard’s tendency to poeticize, his core indebtedness to Georges Bataille, Alfred Jarry, and others, and his reliance on paradox. Ultimately, Stratagem of the Corpse is less a making sense of death and more a transcript of what occurred when death made sense of us, a reverse thanatology in which death delineates the variant forms of our encroachment, not so much death as seen by Baudrillard but Baudrillard as seen by death.

Examples of Baudrillardian simulacra, depersonalization, detachment, violence, obscenity, Baudrillard’s notion of the ‘perfect crime’, and nihilism are incisively discussed. The book makes a compelling case for why Baudrillard is relevant and necessary.


'Shipley’s work is one of the rare exceptions. Some of Baudrillard’s best-known, but least understood, ideas are here unleashed, freed of the disciplinary apparatus of academic convention – and rightly so.’ —William Pawlett, Senior Lecturer in Media, University of Wolverhampton, UK

‘Gary J. Shipley explores the intensities of his meticulously constructed, artificial insanity with a philosophical and literary elegance that is truly exceptional. This is a book that evidently triumphs in its primary directive, of making Baudrillard, once again, necessary.’ —Nick Land, Author of The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism

‘This is not a book “about” Baudrillard. It is a book infected with the necrotic spirit of Baudrillard’s post-orgiastic thought, as well as the transgressive spirits of those who infected him in turn (Bataille especially).’ —Dominic Pettman, Professor of Culture and Media, New School, USA, and Author of After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion

‘Shipley’s book about dying with Baudrillard, of death becoming Baudrillardian, is testament to the growing realization that Baudrillard’s philosophy is only becoming more relevant – perhaps one day this century will be known as Baudrillardian.’ —Richard G. Smith, Author of The Baudrillard Dictionary

‘There is extraordinary power behind those books which ask the wrong questions, perfecting the art of imperfection by taking thought toward death itself. Gary J. Shipley’s reflections on Baudrillard and beyond are of this same rare quality of elegant disturbance: they wrest the fatal imagination elsewhere and otherwise, between death and the dying; among enigmatic corpses and unnameable catastrophes; through varied meditations on decay, apocalypse, chance, obscenity, mutilation, vertigo and terror.’ —Jason Mohaghegh, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Babson College, USA, and Author of The Chaotic Imagination; Omnicide: Mania, Fatality, and the Future-In-Delirium; and Night: A Philosophy of the After-Dark

Author Information

Gary J. Shipley, independent scholar and writer, is the author of ten books, and has published widely in literary journals, academic journals and anthologies. He has taught philosophy at the University of Kent.


Anthem Series on Radical Theory

Table of Contents

Foreword; Introduction; Chapter 1 On Decay and Other Synthetics; Chapter 2 Stratagem of the Corpse; Chapter 3 A Bleak Non-History of History; Chapter 4 The Hyperactivity of Objects; Chapter 5 The Unnamable Catastrophe; Chapter 6 A Cure For Vertigo; Chapter 7 Chance and the Temporality of Death; Chapter 8 The Possibility of Nihilism; Chapter 9 Smell-O-Vision: The Murder Show; Chapter 10 The Evil Death; Chapter 11 False Confessions and the Madness of Death: Making Death Speak; Chapter 12 The Black Light: Nigredo and Catastrophe; Appendix 1; Appendix 2; Appendix 3; Index.


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