Meztinris Ian rated it did not like it Aug 16, Postscript on Badiou Badiou himself plays this sliding game: This book was published on that one-year anniversary. Thanks for telling us rel the problem. The impasse of psychoanalysis, where according to Zizek even Lacan failed, is constituted by a double bind: Zizek wrote these essays between Sept 11, and Sept 11, How well do those predictions and descriptions correspond to deserfo actually came about? Jan-Olaf rated it did not like it Oct 20, And even all these operations are insufficient, because Lacan did not see that surplus enjoyment precedes impossible enjoyment. This is why Zizek can easily accept all the critiques that Onfray and anyone else can make of the Freudian system or of its Lacanian variant. Mar 23, Geoff rated it it was amazing.
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Some part of me is thrilled whenever it interacts with a thought pattern that is not reductive, predetermined, transparent. It is light in the intellectual darkness, and like porn, it removes the easy coverings of lazy thinking and reveals ideas for what they are, in all their mechanical specificity.
It is compelling because it is so absent from the quotidian. Try to have a conversation about politics with someone that goes beyond platitudes and pretty soon the other person will get angry and defensive, or you will. It is nearly as offensive as kissing a stranger in public. Recently, I watched a play called The Laramie Project, about the brutal torture and murder of a gay college student in Wyoming.
It made me want to puke - twice: once for the horror of the crime and once for the banality of the play. It presented total intellectual abdication and called upon the audience to become outraged but not to question any of the tenets of the conversation. Not that there were tenets, not that anything was stated explicitly which could, in any way, be questioned. The fundamental argument was that there are haters in America, and that Wyoming is a place built on hate.
The gay in the play is present as the victim of Wyomingites who perceive him as the hated other, while the play suggests the true other is the pure unredeemed Wyomingite himself, inhuman in his violent otherness. The real crime, this original sin of making homosexuality the other, is answered with the same crime visited on the Wyomingites, some of whom emerge into humanhood as they renounce their homophobia, just as homophobes imagine the homosexual emerging into humanhood upon "choosing" to be straight.
It was like a reeducation camp. There was even a candlelight vigil in the middle. So reading a book like this is a relief from the world where politics and violence, when dealt with by liberals, is so patronizing and anti-intellectual. Reading Zizek drops one down a hole of ideas, tearing everything apart and leaving very little ground upon which to stand. His critique of torture, or his idea of the homo sacer - the person who like an illegal combatant fits into no known legal framework and becomes a non-person, seem fairly sound, but so what?
The very nature of his constant critique invites its own. Who is he to decide that the Czechs were happy in the 80s? Who is he to make all the grand claims he makes? I guess this is what theorists do, but it all seems so arbitrary. Arbitrary and unnecessary. Which raises the question: when is thinking about such things useful?
I keep coming back to the same thought - that it has to matter deeply to oneself to be worth thinking about, and in order for it to matter deeply it cannot be merely an exercise in intellectual acrobatics, it must be connected to conscience, to meaning or the search for it.
Bem Vindo ao Deserto do Real
Dushakar I generally find Zizek to be unintelligible. The B rowed Kettle. Continuum International Publishing Group. See 1 question about Welcome to ak Desert of the Real….
Bem-vindo ao deserto do Real!