Marx Vs. Zizek (Queen Victoria Lives)

May 25, 2009

From Francis Wheen’s biography of Marx:

Confessions

All three Marx daughters loved the Victorian parlou game ‘Confessions’ – nowadays often known as the Proust Questionaire – and in the mid-1860s invited their father to submit himself to interrogation. Here are his answers.

Your favourite virtue: Simplicity

Your favourite virtue in a man: Strength

Your favourite virtue in woman: Weakness

Your chief characteristic: Singleness of purpose

Your idea of happiness: To fight

Your idea of misery: Submission

The vice you excuse most: Gullibility

The vice you detest most: Servility

Your aversion: Martin Tupper [a popular victorian author]

Favourite occupation: Book-worming

Favourite poet: Shakespeare, Aeschylus, Goethe

Favourite prose-writer: Diderot

Favourite hero: Spartacus, Kepler

Favourite heroine: Gretchen

Favourite flower: Daphne

Favourite colour: Red

Favourite name: Laura, Jenny

Favourite dish: Fish

Favourite maxim: Nihil humani a me alienum puto [Nothing human is alien to me]

Favourite motto: De omnibus duditandum [Everything should be doubted]

Communism will win

Slavoj Zizek, 59, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, international director of the Birkbeck Institute for Humanities in London and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana’s institute of sociology. He has written more than 30 books on subjects as diverse as Hitchcock, Lenin and 9/11, and also presented the TV series The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema.

When were you happiest?

A few times when I looked forward to a happy moment or remembered it – never when it was happening.

What is your greatest fear?

To awaken after death – that’s why I want to be burned immediately.

What is your earliest memory?

My mother naked. Disgusting.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the twice-deposed president of Haiti. He is a model of what can be done for the people even in a desperate situation.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Indifference to the plights of others.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Their sleazy readiness to offer me help when I don’t need or want it.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Standing naked in front of a woman before making love.

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

The new German edition of the collected works of Hegel.

What is your most treasured possession?

See the previous answer.

What makes you depressed?

Seeing stupid people happy.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

That it makes me appear the way I really am.

What is your most unappealing habit?

The ridiculously excessive tics of my hands while I talk.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

A mask of myself on my face, so people would think I am not myself but someone pretending to be me.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Watching embarrassingly pathetic movies such as The Sound Of Music.

What do you owe your parents?

Nothing, I hope. I didn’t spend a minute bemoaning their death.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

To my sons, for not being a good enough father.

What does love feel like?

Like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.

What or who is the love of your life?

Philosophy. I secretly think reality exists so we can speculate about it.

What is your favourite smell?

Nature in decay, like rotten trees.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?

All the time. When I really love someone, I can only show it by making aggressive and bad-taste remarks.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?

Medical doctors who assist torturers.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

Teaching. I hate students, they are (as all people) mostly stupid and boring.

What has been your biggest disappointment?

What Alain Badiou calls the ‘obscure disaster’ of the 20th century: the catastrophic failure of communism.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

My birth. I agree with Sophocles: the greatest luck is not to have been born – but, as the joke goes on, very few people succeed in it.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

To Germany in the early 19th century, to follow a university course by Hegel.

How do you relax?

Listening again and again to Wagner.

How often do you have sex?

It depends what one means by sex. If it’s the usual masturbation with a living partner, I try not to have it at all.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

When I had a mild heart attack. I started to hate my body: it refused to do its duty to serve me blindly.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

To avoid senility.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The chapters where I develop what I think is a good interpretation of Hegel.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That life is a stupid, meaningless thing that has nothing to teach you.

Tell us a secret.

Communism will win

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5 Responses to “Marx Vs. Zizek (Queen Victoria Lives)”

  1. The Universal Singular said

    Interesting!

  2. veiledphallus said

    I didn’t like some of Zizek’s answers. However, the last response made up for it.

  3. battleofthegiants said

    Which ones don’t you like?

  4. sonnyburnett said

    I’m sure someone here posted the Zizek stuff awhile back, as I recall laughing at one of his responses, which still kills me:

    What makes you depressed?

    Seeing stupid people happy.

  5. veiledphallus said

    I didn’t like this one…

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Their sleazy readiness to offer me help when I don’t need or want it.

    He might be referring to sycophants who have gathered around him… But it just didn’t jive with me.

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