Jaime Semprun  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jaime Semprun (26 July 1947 – 3 August 2010) was a French essayist and translator. He was born and died in Paris.


Jaime Semprun was close to the film director Philippe Garrel — he appeared in his movie, Le Lit de la Vierge, 1970 along with Zouzou and Valérie Lagrange — and made a short movie himself, Le Meurtre du père (1968), and a feature-length movie, La Sainte Famille (1968), he then turns his interest towards social issues and the Situationist International. He contributed articles to L'Assommoir edited by Roger Langlais, he published two essays for the Champ libre editions during the 1970s : Social War in Portugal and Précis de récupération. In 1980, he published La Nucléarisation du monde, an essay in which he denounces the evils of nuclear power. Jaime Semprun was then at the origin of the creation of the Post-Situationist group and journalEncyclopédie des Nuisances, of which he is the main actor. Fifteen issues are published between 1984 and 1992, before it becomes, in 1991, a publishing house, the Éditions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances.

Jaime Semprun gave a lot of his time, along with Anne Krief (his partner) and Michel Pétris, to the translation and publication of the writings of George Orwell unpublished in France at the time for the éditions Ivrea coedited with the éditions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances, a work he started, according to Christophe Bourseiller, « under the auspices » of Guy Debord and Gérard Lebovici. Four volumes ofEssais, articles, lettres by Orwell are published between 1995 and 2001.

Semprun develops, through his own works and the ones he publishes, a radical critique of the State and industrial society. In this regard, he belongs to anti-industrialism.

In his book Défense et illustration de la novlangue française published in 2005, Jaime Semprun analyses the transformation of the French language at the time of the omnipresence of technology and computers.

In 2008, 40 years after May 68, Jaime Semprun publishes Catastrophisme, administration du désastre et soumission durable, written with René Riesel, in which he develops his critique of contemporary industrial society, including different leftist, activist movements, advocates of curtailing economic growth and state environmentalism. This book contains as an annex the critique of the book by Anselm Jappe, Les Aventures de la marchandise.

In 2009, he publishes 'Discours préliminaire de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances with a new previously-unpublished preface, 25 years after its first publication in 1984.

Jaime Semprun dies of a cerebral hemorrhage on 3 August 2010 aged 63.

In January 2011, the Éditions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances publish a posthumous essay of his, Andromaque, je pense à vous !. This text, written in 2000 on the occasion of the first anniversary of his mother's death (Loleh Bellon 1925–1999), is a sentimental dérive in Paris. It is completed by 2 essays, which have remained unfinished, on the painter Pascal Vinardel and the abolition of art by mass society.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jaime Semprun" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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