Zizek & Harper’s Magazine

October 30, 2009

I’ve been missing the boat for some time but leave an offering in supplication.

Having read the recent Jester posting and commentaries, thought it worthwhile to mention Zizek’s appearance  in the October issue of Harper’s: an excerpt from the imminent First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, titled “To Each According to His Greed.”

The only truly surprising thing about the 2008 financial meltdown is how easily the idea was accepted that its happening was unpredictable. Recall the demonstrations that throughout the last decade regularly accompanied meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank: the protesters’ complaints encompassed not only the usual antiglobalization motifs (the growing exploitation of Third World countries, etc.) but also how the banks were creating the illusion of growth by playing with fictional money and how this would all have to end in a crash. It was not only economists such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz who warned of the dangers ahead and made it clear that those who promised continuous growth did not really understand what was going on under their noses. In Washington in 2000, so many people demonstrated about the danger of a financial collapse that the city had to mobilize 3,500 local policemen. What ensued was tear-gassing, clubbing,and mass arrests… (Readings, 15)

Notably, an excerpt from the “terroristic” carnival called the Invisible Committee also finds a home in the same issue right after Zizek, with an excerpt from The Coming Insurrection.

Both question and oppose in varying ratios the litany of calls for autonomy and self-sufficiency in relation to returns to the steady-state, depoliticized harmony of  ‘real economies’, ‘real communities’, and (yes) ‘families,’ the best master signifiers and sanctioned material effects of any ‘return to normal.’

The IC suggest the good family, like the “good” fundamentalism of devoted indifference, is no longer possible, that “the one coming back is not the same that went away.” What good family was there? The small family commando unit (Virilio)?  The pack? The initial martial body and ideal pastoral cell through which oikos was a matter of survival and cellular struggle against lurking vertebrate structures, but became also the biopolitcal confinement ensured via enforced conduct? Or, maybe the family holding out as the good biopolitics of Esposito’s positive content of bios and ways of life prior to whatever invasive colonizations we detect with our theoretical and political registers?

New website…

October 13, 2009

The Zed’s gotta new website…

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Zizek (October 2009)

Mythology, Madness and Laughter:  Subjectivity in German Idealism by Markus Gabriel and Slavoj Zizek (December 2009)

New Zizek article in Critical Inquiry 34, pp. 660-682.

New Book…

September 21, 2008

Here’s another book to look out for…  but I think the release has been delayed.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Slavoj Zizek (But Were Afraid to Ask Alfred Hitchcock) by Laurence Simmons.

Does anyone know anything about the author?

Of interest: The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology is set to come out soon… looks like there is going to be a whole series of Pervert’s Guides (I think that the next one is going to be Pervert’s Guide to Opera). Also, check out the article, ‘A Pervert’s Guide to Family’ in Lacanian Ink.

* In relation to the Family Myth of Ideology, has anyone read Jameson’s article, ‘Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture’? There is some crossover in this article with the family narrative in cinema.

Adrian Johnston

May 15, 2008

It just came to my attention that Johnston has a new book about Zizek. I’ve read a few of Johnston’s papers, and they were pretty good. Like Zupancic, he was a student of Zizek’s…

“Revulsion is not without its subject: Kant, Lacan, Žižek and the Symptom of Subjectivity”

“There is Truth, and then there are truths—or, Slavoj Žižek as a Reader of Alain Badiou”

“The Cynic’s Fetish: Slavoj Žižek and the Dynamics of Belief

“From the Spectacular Act to the Vanishing Act: Badiou, Žižek, and the Politics of Lacanian Theory”

If you’re going to read any of these, read the last one. ….It’s the only one of these I’ve read actually. So I guess that’s not much of an endorsement. I just mean that it was interesting because he talks quite abit about Lacan’s version of the Act….

And for those of us who haven’t read each other’s papers…

IJZS Graduate Student Special Issue

I saw a copy of Zizek’s new book in the bookstore yesterday. It looks like another big one! He goes beyond his usual (although not in all of his books) six chapters. His Essay on Heidegger that was published in IJZS makes up one of the last chapters (I’m not sure if this is exactly the same)… perhaps we have something to read together in the fall?

Interview with Z

May 5, 2008

I think that it’s possible here to see the reasons why Z would be pro-Chavez, despite the Venezuelan’s many faults: He’s done (is doing) something significant, rather than demanding something be done, or lamenting what hasn’t happened…

From 16beavergroup:

Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher, psychoanalyst and cultural theorist. He is author of more than fifty books, including the forthcoming In Defense of Lost Causes.

AMY GOODMAN: Our next guest has been called “the Elvis of cultural theory,” widely considered to be one of Europe’s leading intellectuals. Slavoj Zizek is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, cultural theorist. Born in Slovenia, he has written more than fifty books, speaks to sold-out audiences around the world. In 1990, he campaigned unsuccessfully to be president of Slovenia, the first Yugoslav republic to hold a free election.
He’s in New York right now to give a lecture tonight called “Resist, Attack, Undermine: Where Are We Forty Years After ’68?” The event opens this year’s Left Forum. Slavoj Zizek joins us here in the firehouse studio.
We welcome you to Democracy Now!

SLAVOJ ZIZEK: Thank you very much. I am honored to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: When I asked you specifically how to pronounce your name, you said you’re nervous about people who pronounce it correctly.

SLAVOJ ZIZEK: Yes, because I—no, but this is more a private trauma, like I don’t like to see myself. Whenever I see myself, like there on the screen, I’m tempted to adopt the position of an observer and ask myself, if I were to have a daughter, I would never allow that guy to take me to a movie theater. So—

AMY GOODMAN: But you also said you would be concerned if it was pronounced exactly, that perhaps that person came from the police.

SLAVOJ ZIZEK: Yeah. Effectively, yeah, because only they really know. You know, this is at least my East European myth, that police are the ones who know.

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s an article that ostensibly bashes what sounds like a horrible book about Zizek.