27 June 2010

The Charlatan

OK, here is the key passage from this essay/interview in The Guardian yesterday about/with Slavoj Žižek:
"He opens a copy of Living in the End Times, and finds the contents page. 'I will tell you the truth now,' he says, pointing to the first chapter, then the second. 'Bullshit. Some more bullshit. Blah, blah, blah.'"
He, of course, is the master himself. I could not have said it better myself. Although, no doubt, I simply am failing to grasp his deep irony and intelligence. Maybe so.

I like to flatter myself that I am reasonably bright. And, over the years, I have worked through a lot of difficult philosophy and social science. I even understood quite a bit of it. In all honesty, though, having tried unsuccessfully on several occasions to read Žižek, I never understood a word the man said. It simply was not worth the effort. On his own say so I guess there is no reason to even waste time worrying about this latest missive.
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P.S.: For those inclined to succumb and enlist in the Žižek fan club I recommend A review essay by Alan Johnson (no relation) in Dissent (Fall 2009) entitled "The Reckless Mind of Slavoj Žižek." It seems that, setting all the irony and self-parody aside, performance art can have dangerous - meaning authoritarian - political implications.

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