Zizek returns to untangle a heady mix of fantasy and ideology
“The Giant of Ljubljana provides the best intellectual high since Anti-Oedipus.” — Voice Literary Supplement
With his idiosyncratic blend of ideas from Lacan and Hegel, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek has emerged as one of the most original thinkers of our time. Never missing an opportunity to recount a revealing anecdote or joke his writing is as entertaining as it is informative.
In his latest book, Zizek approaches another enormous subject with characteristic brio. The current epoch is, he claims, plagued by phantasms. There is an intensifying antagonism between the ever greater abstraction of our lives … whether in the form of digitalization or market relations and the deluge of pseudo-concrete images which surround us. Traditional critical thought traces the connections between abstract notions and concrete social reality: but today, Zizek suggests, the correct procedure is the inverse … to work from pseudo-concrete imagery towards the abstract.
Ranging in his examples from national differences in toilet design to cybersex, and from intellectuals' responses to the Bosnian war to Robert Schumann's music, Zizek explores the relations between fantasy and ideology, the way in which fantasy animates enjoy-ment while protecting against its excesses, the associations of the notion of fetishism with fantasized seduction, and the ways in which digitalization and cyberspace affect the status of subjectivity. To the already initiated, The Plague of Fantasies will be a welcome reminder of why they enjoy Zizek's writing so much. For new readers, it will be the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship.
|Zizek, Slavoj. The Plague of Fantasies (Wo Es War). London; New York: Verso. October 1997, Hardcover, 248 pages, Language: English, ISBN: 1859848575. Buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.fr or Verso. November 1997, Paperback, 248 pages, Language: English, ISBN: 1859841937. Buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.fr.