This is the thread where we talk about Slavoj Zizek...

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You know, I had to read "The Sublime Object of Ideology" for a class, and I totally have forgotten all of it. But I'm a dummy. So. That's pretty much expected.

mandee, Thursday, 30 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

He's a silly old bore who won't shut up.

the pinefox, Thursday, 30 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hi PF, how ya been?

Mandee, Thursday, 30 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Pinefox I still love you!

Josh, Thursday, 30 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Quoth Nathan: Mind you, his article in the latest London Review of Books was a bit pisspoor.

This is about all I've read by Zizek, who my Derridean prof brother calls 'a nutter'. But I thought it was pretty good. I welcome anyone who helps me think freshly about subjects, especially when they introduce new (or revived, freshly contextualised) concepts. The Zizek piece in the LRB has several:

Homo Sacer: 'It designated, in ancient Roman law, someone who could be killed with impunity and whose death had, for the same reason, no sacrificial value. Today, as a term denoting exclusion, it can be seen to apply not only to terrorists, but also to those who are on the receiving end of humanitarian aid'.

(In other words, people seen as having diminished responsibility, adult children who can be either tortured or aided by states seeing themselves as the embodiment of rationality. To bring it closer to home, Mr Barley, compare the TV Go Home joke about TV producers who treat their audiences as 'homo sacer'.)

Einbildungskraft: Zizek brings this from Kant by way of Carl Schmidt. of substance, in a formless, infinite plasticity.) ''Enemy recognition' is always a performative procedure which brings to light/constructs the enemy's 'true face'.'

Capitonnage: Borrowed from Lacan, literally the 'quilting point'. Zizek uses it as a term for 'the operation by means of which we identify/construct a sole agency that 'pulls the strings' behind a multitude of opponents.'

'Thus Stalinism in the 1930s constructed the agency of Imperialist Monopoly Capital to prove that Fascists and Social Democrats ('Social Fascists') are 'twin brothers', the 'left and right hand of monopoly capital'. Thus Nazism constructed the 'plutocratic- Bolshevik plot' as the common agent threatening the welfare of the German nation.

And thus, Zizek contends, we are now seeing a spurious grouping of greens with terrorists in the minds of some American commentators and politicians.

This is a pretty rich haul of rather interesting ideas for one article, it seems to me, and quite the opposite of, for instance, the technique and politics of Garry Wills' piece about pedophile priests, which dismissed a lot of progressive-liberal thinking on the subject based on a use (rather than a discussion) of these techniques:

Capitonnage: Wills, like a politician, wanted to show that there was a liberal- pedophile plot, thus stringing together his two opponents, corrupt clerics and 'permissives'.

Homo Sacer: He also treated the priests themselves like 'homo sacer', people of diminished responsibility, insisting on their 'infantilization' -- in his argument, by their mothers. But, seen through the lens of

'Einbildungskraft', by the performative procedure of his own characterisation of them).

I guess this makes Wills a politician, and Zizek a thinker. Although, interestingly, Zizek ran as a presidential candidate in the Slovenian elections. So I suppose they're both politicians, but one (Zizek) is making up his ideology as he goes, showing all working, the other (Wills) using a prefab ideology (Catholicism).

Momus, Thursday, 30 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

...et en avant la Zizek!

The Hegemon, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Article ain't bad, tho it gives too much power to what most ppl (even those supporting resultant policy choices) recognize as very very stupid logic.

Sterling Clover, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

"Momus, like a politician, wanted to show that Wills was a homophobe" etc etc

mark s, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

but i wd rather eat my arm than reread that article or re-explain to you why you're still not reading it properly or fairly

mark s, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Damn, I thought we were going to have some hot fun tonight with that one. Oh well, might as well go out and swing.

Momus, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

i'm going to see le tigre tonight

mark s, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

They'll braise and eat Mark's arm for him?

Ned Raggett, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Momus is playing in Denver on June 28th. Should I go?

Mandee, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Was also the day when Chesterfield wuz robbed in the FA Cup Semi- final in 1997. Memories...

*sobs* a lot

I'd tried to erase that day from my memory, thanks a lot Barley!!!

chris, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

To Mandee -- yes, go. It should be a fun show and I'm interested in seeing his stable of artistes. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 31 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

3 years pass...
well, it's interesting, anyway.

zizek is a leninist, a means-to-an-ends kind of guy, so his stance here is unexpected.

of 24: "It is here that we encounter the series' ideological lie: in spite of the CTU's ruthlessness, its agents, especially Bauer, are warm human beings - loving, caught in the emotional dilemmas of ordinary people."

which begs the question: well, can't ruthless people also be loving fathers? s/z's answer is:

"As Arendt says, the fact that they are able to retain any normality while committing such acts is the ultimate confirmation of moral depravity."

i can't help finding his paradoxes (and there are umpteen more in the article) a bit fortune cookie. isn't the ultimate confirmation of moral depravity the morally depraved act itself? likewise, do we need his thoughts on 'why is cheney telling us this' -- isn't the fact of torture enough?


Theorry Henry (Enrique), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 09:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...
i think it's really that everything in zizek's universe fits together -- does he believe in some idea of 'totality'? the paradoxes are only possible because the terms are 'equal' in some way. anyway, i suppose i don't think everything fits together.

Real Goths Don't Wear Black (Enrique), Monday, 3 April 2006 10:43 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think the article makes sense but zizek is almost totally naturalised for me now. I'm not sure if he thinks that the above are paradoxes as such. Although it's typical of his taste for everything dialectical (real-dialectical or fake-dialectial) to construct what appear to be paradoxes.

But the main point is fairly straightforward. The means-to-an-end argument, when it comes to torture, boils down to "do what you need to do, then pay the price later." But by implying that torture has no price for those who practice it, legal or emotional, 24 to some extent moves the issue beyond mere means-to-an-end - there's no longer any moral balancing going on at all. It simply becomes "this is what we do." Torture becomes unfortunate but no longer morally troubling. The notion that this somehow goes to a person's guilt and depravity is popularly accepted in the entrenchment of the consideration of remorse as a mitigating factor in sentencing for crimes.

It's basically the same argument w/r/t Cheney openly justifying what was formerly tacitly permitted: this does violence to the notion that there is a price to be paid for these actions, that there is a price that should be paid. The point is not merely to bring formerly hidden acts out into the open, but to disrupt and overturn the systems of understandings that necessitated the acts be hidden. A government which has to hide its torture is one which submits to the notion that, strictly speaking, what is being done is wrong. And there is always the possibility that the torture will be publicly exposed, resulting in loss of face and power for the ruling government.

The hiding at least pays lipservice to the notion that what is happening is morally reprehensible (as Mac says on Commander In Chief, "I don't want to hear that he was tortured"). What is changed in publicly announcing the use of torture is not necessarily the seriousness of the acts of torture committed (which, perhaps in the short-term, does not increase), but the system of morality within which that act is situated, and the system of power relationships. The Government says "you can no longer hold your avowed distaste for torture over me"; if the public does nothing at this stage, it effectively acknowledges "I accept your use of the torture as morally defensible."

I think that the ramifications for "society" in this are pretty huge, and that it's therefore right for Zizek to argue that the consideration of the moral depravity of an act can go beyond the act itself and extend to how it is framed in discourse.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 April 2006 13:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

tim the point about zizek being naturalized is nice -- i feel the same way. like the sort of category work and relationships he works with are pretty much integrated into how i look at things by now so i get much less out of reading more of him.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 3 April 2006 14:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

isn't that really because he's extremely repetitive? it's fairly easy to naturalize someone who runs a lacan script on everything he comes across.

Real Goths Don't Wear Black (Enrique), Monday, 3 April 2006 14:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

"tim the point about zizek being naturalized is nice -- i feel the same way. like the sort of category work and relationships he works with are pretty much integrated into how i look at things by now so i get much less out of reading more of him. "

I wouldn't go that far because I haven't really gotten to the "make your own zizekian argument" stage. But yeah his stuff (esp. these sorts of arguments) feels very familiar now, you sort of know where it's going immediately.

Yeah he is very repetitive, and not just in terms of overall approach but in terms of specific detail - the analogy of the husband and the wife who have the tacit agreement w/r/t his infidelity is in half a dozen other books by him. For me it's really all about the world-building of the first two big books (The Sublime Object and For They Know Not What They Do).

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 April 2006 14:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

one thing i like tho is how sometimes when he revisits the same things (parsifal, etc) you can tell he's thought more and added new nuances and twists since the last time he wrote about them.

(of course, he also coasts in other things too, but then that's more an element of not seeing himself as a "theoretician" so much as a sort of gadfly polemicist)

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 3 April 2006 15:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah that's right. It was really annoying last year when I was writing my big essay on him and I'd have this vague memory of him phrasing something really perfectly (w/r/t, oh I dunno, why lukacs secretly rocks or something) and having to laboriously reread through seven different pieces on the exact same topic to try to find that precise phrase.

But cool that he'd thought enough about it to come up with that one perfect phrase.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 April 2006 15:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

as far as the thinking his way thing it doesn't happen to me all the time but i rememeber, e.g., watching pirates of the carribean and just instictively "reading" it in terms of a circuit of tokens and a few other times too -- also happened to me with pump up the volume. more frequent when i've read/thought about him recently, of course.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 3 April 2006 15:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
I just started the Routlegde Critical Thinkers: Zizek.

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Saturday, 13 May 2006 14:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n08/letters.html

excellent combination of bad faith and projection, well done.

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 12:16 (5 years ago) Permalink

it would be kind of interesting to see him deploy that argument w/r/t palestine though, also not an independent state pre-1948, etc etc etc

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 12:18 (5 years ago) Permalink

I agree that he is too understanding of China's policies, but I thought this paragraph was spot-on:

One of the main reasons so many people in the West participate in the protests against China is ideological: Tibetan Buddhism, deftly propagated by the Dalai Lama, is one of the chief points of reference for the hedonist New Age spirituality that has become so popular in recent times. Tibet has become a mythic entity onto which we project our dreams. When people mourn the loss of an authentic Tibetan way of life, it isn’t because they care about real Tibetans: what they want from Tibetans is that they be authentically spiritual for us, so that we can continue playing our crazy consumerist game. ‘Si vous êtes pris dans le rêve de l’autre,’ Gilles Deleuze wrote, ‘vous êtes foutu.’ The protesters against China are right to counter the Beijing Olympic motto – ‘One World, One Dream’ – with ‘One World, Many Dreams’. But they should be aware that they are imprisoning Tibetans in their own dream.

There are other peoples the Chinese central government has oppressed as well, such as the Uyghurs, but since they don't have evoke similar imagery in Westerners as the Tibetans do, and don't have a charismatic leader like the Dalai Lama, they are mostly ignored. (Also, the Uyghurs happen to be mostly muslims, which of course makes them less likely to get much Western support.)

Tuomas, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

it would be kind of interesting to see him deploy that argument w/r/t palestine though, also not an independent state pre-1948, etc etc etc

The difference is, though, that the Israeli government has done little if nothing to develop the Palestinian areas. I'm not trying to defend China here, but the two situations aren't that easily comparable.

Tuomas, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:20 (5 years ago) Permalink

oh that bit about new-age hippies was what i meant by 'projection'; i suppose it might be true of some people who are actively pro-tibet, but most people seem to be against the occupation on more liberal grounds. just as many people who broadly support the palestinian cause might not be so keen on hamas.

zizek doesn't actually advance any evidence of this syndrome, anyway:

When people mourn the loss of an authentic Tibetan way of life, it isn’t because they care about real Tibetans: what they want from Tibetans is that they be authentically spiritual for us, so that we can continue playing our crazy consumerist game.

is just a standard zizek-y paradox. i'm sure he's used it before, conjoining it with the line from 'to be or not to be'; "the poles do the camping, we do the concentrating."

i'm not saying palestine corresponds with tibet 1:1, but zizek's take on it is likely to be 180 degress from his take here -- namely that the occupier is right, and the vocal support for a religio-nationalist cause is wrong.

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:26 (5 years ago) Permalink

Tibetan Buddhism, deftly propagated by the Dalai Lama, is one of the chief points of reference for the hedonist New Age spirituality that has become so popular in recent times.

This is bullshit as regards specifically Tibetan Buddhism, which strikes me as being way too particularist to offer much to New Age thinking. The Dalai Lama's charisma and media savvy has done far more to keep Tibet in the public consciousness of Western liberals. I'm also pretty sure that a lot of anti-Chinese government protests are grounded in issues other than Tibet. Amnesty's campaigns are one obvious example.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:29 (5 years ago) Permalink

Plenty of Stalin apologists argued that he was only liquidating horrible reactionaries, too.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yes to the Dalai Lama's media profile keeping it in public consciousness - linked to strong idea of Tibet as a separate occupied country, a profile that abkhazia, dagestan, kurdistan, don't have - kosovo being the anomaly here (but western govts wanted kosovar independence, rather than western people - so a bit of a red herring?)

Aren't Uyghar's in a minority in Xianjiang?

laxalt, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:39 (5 years ago) Permalink

laxalt, by that i'm guessing you think none of these countries deserve independence? pretty blatantly in the case of kosovo.

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

bringing the opinion of 'western people' is a huge red herring, really, but i'd have thought those western people who have heard of kosovo will generally recall why its independence from serbia could be seen as a good thing for the people of kosovo.

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:43 (5 years ago) Permalink

No that isn't what I mean. (also wether Western Govt's wanted Kosovar independence or not shouldn't make that independence any more or less desirable per se)

I'm not suggesting any of these countries either deserve or don't deserve independence (just that western policy towards Kosovo was unusual as the usual state of affairs is to preseve integrity of the nation state).

Its more that I was trying to suggest that Tibet has a higher profile as an actual occupied state in western minds, whereas the others are probably thought of as regions - and that itself must be at least partially responsible for pro-Tibetan feeling in the west.

laxalt, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:46 (5 years ago) Permalink

Surely one of the Kosovans' core claims to independence is that Kosova corresponds to what a nation-state is supposed to be?

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

Its more that I was trying to suggest that Tibet has a higher profile as an actual occupied state in western minds, whereas the others are probably thought of as regions - and that itself must be at least partially responsible for pro-Tibetan feeling in the west.

yeah, undeniably. though again: palestine is fairly prominent in the west. those other places barely even register as names, kurdistan excepted. i think there's some kind of insinuation threaded through this line -- i don't know what it is exactly, but my main reaction is 'so what?'

western policy towards Kosovo was unusual as the usual state of affairs is to preseve integrity of the nation state

greater serbia wasn't a nation state. plus the west had been operating in the former yugoslavia pre-1999. plus it was the west (germany) that encouraged its break-up.

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

I'm curious as to why Zizek is someone you guys read/talk about? Is he someone you read in school, and if so in what course of study? Or is he a big public intellectual in the UK or Australia or somewhere, and in those places public intellectuals are taken seriously? I'm just ignorant but curious, not trying to be snarky.

Euler, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

I'm curious as to why Zizek is someone you guys read/talk about? Is he someone you read in school, and if so in what course of study? Or is he a big public intellectual in the UK or Australia or somewhere, and in those places public intellectuals are taken seriously? I'm just ignorant but curious, not trying to be snarky.

-- Euler, Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:52 PM (7 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

he's definitely a prominent public intellectual -- ie he doesn't just address a specialist philosophy audience. (there is a q-mark over what his specialism is, perhaps.)

there've been about four films made about him, he gets new yorker profiles done on him, he gets into the LRB, guardian, etc, and he publishes a lot.

he's achieved this mostly post-9/11 and i was at uni before then and anyway he doesn't have much to say on my subject (history).

as for public intellectuals being taken seriously -- britain has often perceived itself as not giving intellectuals their due, in comparison with france where they alledgedly have a bigger public profile.

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

What do you mean by greater serbia?

laxalt, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

yugoslavia

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

- croatia

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

xxxpost

Yeah, the French version of Play Your Cards Right was hosted by Louis Althusser.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:59 (5 years ago) Permalink

in that case, i agree Yugoslavia, like USSR not a nation state

but kosovo was part of Serbia, not part of Yugoslavia. Same reason Estonias independence a different matter to, say, Dagestans, no?

laxalt, Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:59 (5 years ago) Permalink

He also was on the DVD of _Children of Men_, and made me realize that I did not in fact like _Children of Men_.

Eppy, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the French version of Play Your Cards Right was hosted by Louis Althusser.

-- Noodle Vague, Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:59 PM (13 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

well this is the thing. but the received opinion is that french intellectuals had a nicer time of it.

but kosovo was part of Serbia, not part of Yugoslavia. Same reason Estonias independence a different matter to, say, Dagestans, no?

-- laxalt, Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:59 PM (9 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

i don't think this is a very fruitful way to look at this issue -- comparatively, from the outside, but also using unchanging categories like 'serbia' and 'kosovo', and indeed 'nation-state'. "kosovo was part of Serbia, not part of Yugoslavia", but serbia was "part of" yugoslavia, so...

banriquit, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:05 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah I wasn't skitting you I was just playing the comedy disinformation game.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

I.E. yes of course this is a widespread perception but from my experience French TV channels frequently mistake po-faced earnestness for intellectualism. NOT THAT THEY ARE ALONE IN THIS

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

Ok, thanks for the help! I work in pretty mainstream analytic philosophy in the US (and also in France), and it would be weird for any of us to get attention on a general interest internet message board. But we all have provocative political things to say, it's just that we don't work on those things as our speciality and so we don't receive attention for them. I wanted to gauge better why Zizek gets this kind of attention, since he's never come up in a discussion I've had with colleagues in the US or France.

Euler, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:08 (5 years ago) Permalink

(understatement of the year award there)

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:51 (8 months ago) Permalink

flopson, what are the names of some of those textbooks? they sound interesting.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:51 (8 months ago) Permalink

xpost

i mostly come at this via interests in film/literature/poetry. the formalists and structuralists are important to me. again, not sure if that overlaps with your understanding of Theory (or theory).

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:54 (8 months ago) Permalink

also the idea that i can't or shouldn't critique Zizek (however sophomorically) if I don't already admire/accept all of the intellectual underpinnings of his work is kind of o_O honestly.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:54 (8 months ago) Permalink

i mean, that just reinforces my notion of Theory as this kind of self-reproducing thing that only substantively engages itself

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:57 (8 months ago) Permalink

whoa xposts.

i love the topic, sterling. not exactly textbooks, but: i really get into how-to books that are "masterpieces of exposition", to use flopson's phrase.

these are underappreciated genres, imo. and one of the reasons i always loved the whole earth catalog, with all its utopian utilitarianism.

never have i been a blue calm sea (collardio gelatinous), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 01:01 (8 months ago) Permalink

amateurist, c'mon man, now you're playing the victim a bit.

nobody's saying you can't critique z. b/c you haven't read his heavier tomes. what i was responding to wasn't the fact that you were critiquing him, but the fact that a major point of your critique was that you saw in zizek a lot of hot air and posturing without substance, and i'm saying, well, there are these books of his where, um, i do think there's a lot of substance.

never have i been a blue calm sea (collardio gelatinous), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 01:06 (8 months ago) Permalink

but i will concede that we could use more diacritical marks.

never have i been a blue calm sea (collardio gelatinous), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 01:12 (8 months ago) Permalink

"not a field unto themselves"

except of course for the field of p-adic numbers given rise to by any prime p. whoops!

stefon taylor swiftboat (s.clover), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 01:32 (8 months ago) Permalink

finney, i don't know if this fits into "theory" for you, but there's plenty of interesting stuff in barthes, althusser, etc.

― flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:50 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I would definitely put both of those in the camp of Theory for the purpose of the conversation - at least to the extent that, if someone was going to object to Theory outright on the basis of it being a whole lot of obtuse hot air, I would imagine Barthes and Althusser as being among the first 100 against the wall.

When I was first really getting into post-marxist theory, and before I realised that I'm basically an Adorno stan, I really liked Althusser, but subsequently found that my favourite Zizek (specifically The Sublime Object of Ideology) felt like a smarter* and funnier version of him.

("smarter" in the sense of having smarts, not in the sense of intellect or profundity or etc.)

I would definitely recommend both TSOI and Contingency, Hegemony, Universality as both incredibly thoughtful and highly readable (though with the latter the credit is as much with Laclau and Butler).

Also this nice little book I found really squared the circle for me b/w Zizek as serious worldbuilder and Zizek as the popular Socrates figure:

http://books.google.com.au/books/about/Conversations_with_Zizek.html?id=ExMYKdVRjHIC&redir_esc=y

also the idea that i can't or shouldn't critique Zizek (however sophomorically) if I don't already admire/accept all of the intellectual underpinnings of his work is kind of o_O honestly.

― flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:54 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

To be clear, this wasn't my point.

A critique in the sense of "this falls short of (insert)" is difficult to decode if it's not clear what (insert) is - self-evidently, someone who likes some Zizek but feels he mostly doesn't live up to his best work (or the claims he wants to make for it) will have a different take from someone who admires Zizek's influences but finds him to be a shallow blend of them, who will have a very different take from someone who dislikes those influences but likes other vaguely related modes of thought, who will have a different take again from someone who dismisses that whole field.

Any one of those takes might be quite reasonable, but the more the vantage point of critique zooms out, the more those levels of disappointment become conflated with each other.

But then in basically any area of critique I'm a zoom-in-ist so am probably biased towards what I tend to do reflexively.

Tim F, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 04:44 (8 months ago) Permalink

flopson, what are the names of some of those textbooks? they sound interesting.

― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, July 29, 2013 8:51 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i've really enjoyed armstrong basic topology, munkres topology, kolmogorov intro to theory of functions and functional analysis, gouvea p-adic numbers, needham visual complex analysis. you need a pretty solid foundation of algebra & analysis to read any of those though, like the equivalent of a standard first year course. also a really fun thing to read is proofs from the book

flopson, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 19:20 (8 months ago) Permalink

j., Thursday, 1 August 2013 07:44 (8 months ago) Permalink

i don't even know what these 104 new answers are about, i just wanna post this https://twitter.com/zizek_ebooks/status/362997937116160000

Merdeyeux, Thursday, 1 August 2013 18:13 (8 months ago) Permalink

thanks for the list!

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Thursday, 1 August 2013 18:20 (8 months ago) Permalink

zizek ebooks is prob one of my favorite feeds tbh

BIG HOOS aka the denigrated boogeyman (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 1 August 2013 21:33 (8 months ago) Permalink

np! (xp)

flopson, Thursday, 1 August 2013 21:33 (8 months ago) Permalink

nobody's saying you can't critique z. b/c you haven't read his heavier tomes. what i was responding to wasn't the fact that you were critiquing him, but the fact that a major point of your critique was that you saw in zizek a lot of hot air and posturing without substance, and i'm saying, well, there are these books of his where, um, i do think there's a lot of substance.

r. pippin sez 'srs book is srs', writes ginormous review to demonstrate

http://www.mediationsjournal.org/articles/back-to-hegel

j., Saturday, 3 August 2013 10:37 (8 months ago) Permalink

interesting review. funny how it seems Zizek has sorta come around to Sartre's notion of consciousness as a "hole in Being."

ryan, Saturday, 3 August 2013 15:52 (8 months ago) Permalink

Hasn't he been saying something along those lines since at least Tarrying With The Negative?

Tim F, Saturday, 3 August 2013 23:08 (8 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

damn

j., Tuesday, 24 September 2013 17:32 (6 months ago) Permalink

www.youtube.com/embed/bRTdDyXM3VM

Mordy , Tuesday, 1 October 2013 22:42 (6 months ago) Permalink

http://critical-theory.com/zizek-vice/

Mordy , Sunday, 6 October 2013 05:37 (6 months ago) Permalink

They reject the concept of fruit

wmlynch, Friday, 11 October 2013 18:53 (6 months ago) Permalink

uh he's doing a lot of interviews

markers, Monday, 14 October 2013 07:45 (6 months ago) Permalink

i just found a bunch more

markers, Monday, 14 October 2013 07:45 (6 months ago) Permalink

shocking for a man who seems pretty prominent most of the time and also has a movie out lol

the Shearer of simulated snowsex etc. (Dwight Yorke), Monday, 14 October 2013 10:35 (6 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

And was this also not the truth about the whole of the Mandela memorial ceremony? All the crocodile tears of the dignitaries were a self-congratulatory exercise, and Jangtjie translated them into what they effectively were: nonsense. What the world leaders were celebrating was the successful postponement of the true crisis which will explode when poor, black South Africans effectively become a collective political agent. They were the Absent One to whom Jantjie was signalling, and his message was: the dignitaries really don't care about you. Through his fake translation, Jantjie rendered palpable the fake of the entire ceremony.

This article was amended on 16 December 2013 to comply with our editorial guidelines

A Skanger Barkley (nakhchivan), Thursday, 19 December 2013 03:53 (3 months ago) Permalink

hahahaha <3

VENIET IMBER (imago), Thursday, 19 December 2013 03:54 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

brotherhood, unity, etc.

j., Monday, 6 January 2014 21:34 (3 months ago) Permalink

omg that doctor story at the end

Mordy , Monday, 6 January 2014 21:56 (3 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

lot of books coming out this year

markers, Friday, 14 February 2014 19:47 (2 months ago) Permalink

like, at least four

markers, Friday, 14 February 2014 19:47 (2 months ago) Permalink

he just does a word scramble of all his other books though

sent from my butt (harbl), Friday, 14 February 2014 19:48 (2 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

I like the Philip Kaufman version, with Donald Sutherland. The ending, when the world is already occupied by body snatchers, you remember how the snatchers react when they see still humans? [Imitates Donald Sutherland’s gaping jaw howl] For years it became fashion among my friends to greet each other like this.

http://thephantomcountry.blogspot.de/2014/02/release-from-ideology-is-painful.html

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Friday, 28 February 2014 20:41 (1 month ago) Permalink

heh seeing his initials like that made me think of

Ward Fowler, Friday, 28 February 2014 21:02 (1 month ago) Permalink

My last revisionism: I quite liked—and I know this is the lowest of the lowest—the last two seasons of 24. You have Jack Bauer torturing, blah, blah, and you have Alison Taylor, good liberal president. They both got in the bad luck and break down. It shows very honestly how, within today’s universe, there is no way to be noble.

SF: You make me want to see it now.

SŽ: It’s not that good, I have to tell you. Life is too short. Fuck, even if you count out the publicity, it’s 24 times 45 minutes! Unless you are freak with nothing but time, it’s just too much.

difficult listening hour, Saturday, 1 March 2014 06:31 (1 month ago) Permalink

SF: I like it, but it’s sort of falling back on titties.

j., Saturday, 1 March 2014 14:30 (1 month ago) Permalink


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