During our recent rediscovery of the work of Günther Anders, guided by Harold Marcuse, we became aware of the pioneering essay, The World As Phantom and As Matrix, an excursion into the philosophical consequences of electronic media, particularly television and radio. The ideas in the essay now seem so familiar as to have become banal, yet look at the publication date: 1956!
At that time, a young Germanist named Jean Baudrillard was teaching in a Lycée while doing a bit of translation on the side (Weiss, Brecht). He also performed occasional editorial tasks for Le Seuil. Baudrillard would undoubtedly have been a reader of the influential German journal Merkur, where Anders’ essay first appeared; he appears to have taken careful notes.
Below, slightly reformatted for readability, and with our own DP headings, a few excerpts from the Anders phantom matrix: