Item description for The Zizek Reader (Blackwell Readers) by Wright...
The Zizek Reader - which includes a foreword by Slavoj Zizek and an essay on cyberspace - provides a comprehensive introduction to the flamboyant work of a figure who has been variously described as one of the most arresting, insightful and scandalous thinkers in recent memory, the Giant of Ljubljana, the best intellectual high since Anti-Oedipus. His work is a mix of Hegel and Hitchcock, Schelling and science fiction, Kant and Courtly Love, Stalin and Stephen King, all of which is strongly seasoned with Lacanian psychoanalysis. Divided into three parts: Culture, Woman, and Philosophy, the reader provides explications of the individual extracts within each section and connects these extracts in a general introduction, mapping the shiftings of Zizek's thought within the Lacanian framework. The essays on woman offer feminism ammunition from unexpected sources, within a reading of Lacan that goes counter to his ambiguous reception by feminists.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.86" Width: 6.44" Height: 1.02" Weight: 1.07 lbs.
Release Date Mar 22, 1999
ISBN 0631212019 ISBN13 9780631212010
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More About Wright
Elizabeth Wright is a fellow of Girton College, Cambridge. Her main work is in psychoanalytic literary criticism and she has written extensively in this area. She is author of Psychoanalytic Criticism: Theory in Practise (1984; second edition 1998), Post-modern Brecht: A Representation (1989), and she is also the editor of Feminism and Psychoanalysis: A Critical Dictionary (1992) and co-editor of Coming Out of Feminism? (1998).
Edmond Wright is a poet and free-lance philosopher. He has published regularly in the philosophical journals on language, perception, and epistemology. He has written The Horwich Hennets (1976) and The Jester Hennets (1981), and he is the editor of New Representationalisms: Essays in the Philosophy of Perception (1993).
Slavoj Zizek is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His most recent works include Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel and the Critique of Ideology, The Plague of Fantasies, and The Ticklish Subject: A Treatise on Political Ontology. Slavoj Zizek has over the last decade become something of a cultural phenomenon, variously described as 'one of the most arresting, insightful and scandalous thinkers in recent memory', 'the Giant of Ljubljana... the best intellectual high since Anti-Oedipus'. His work is a flamboyant mix of Hegel and Hitchcock, Schelling and science fiction, Kant and Courtly Love, Stalin and Stephen King, all of which is strongly seasoned with lacanian psychoanalysis. As a consequence, it is also one of the most lucid and persuasive readings of Lacan's difficult thought.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Zizek Reader (Blackwell Readers)?
Cognitively Insignificant but Currently Hip Continental Cant Oct 21, 2006
Incapable of exact thinking, steeped in the pseudoscientific orthodoxy of psychoanalysis, destroying the sane foundations of leftist argumentation and superfluously verbose beyond intelligibility, Zizek and his predecessor Lacan inexplicably continue to receive the attention of academics in the humanities. Other reviewers who have stamped this as a collection of technical works have simply been confused by the proliferation of referentially bankrupt verbiage with which every page is splattered: all of the "key notions" of this "thinker" are bereft of sense, are cognitively vacant. Put to the task, I have no doubt that Zizek couldn't even explain what he is referring to when he uses such curiously impossible phrases as, to make a random selection, "the medium of pure auto-affection embodying the presence-to-itself of the speaking subject." This tradition of trying to appear insightful by using arcane neologisms which, mysteriously, are too profound to be defined began with Heidegger and never seemed to stop in continental philosophy, which is precisely why neither Heidegger, nor Sartre, nor Foucault, nor Lacan, nor Derrida, nor Baudrillard, nor Lyotard, nor Deleuze, nor Zizek himself will be remembered seriously by future historians of ideas. There just aren't any ideas to record, only the flickerings of dim bulbs wishing to receive the deserved esteem of Hume or Kant, Russell or Wittgenstein, Kripke or Putnam. Incredibly, dissertations will be written on Zizek by intelligent individuals who, suffering from the mental analogue of an optical illusion, are duped into believing that they are studying something with content, something having an intelligible bearing on at least something familiar (nescio quid!). Entire courses will be taught on Zizek that begin with antiquated, unconfirmable Freudian conjectures and end with many an ostensibly sophisticated but vacuous flatus vocis and innumerable paradoxical conclusions that appear to undermine the assumptions of antecedent traditions but in a way which somehow resists paraphrase into lucid language. But this won't last. For your own sake, avoid Zizek and all of his antecedents in the continental tradition: staring at a wall for years will furnish more genuine intellectual substance than trying to make sense out of this sticky imbroglio of confusions. Instead, if you want to read philosophical works that will warrant the lasting attention of level-headed, mindful individuals, start reading Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, J. L. Austin, C. D. Broad, Carl Hempel, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, D. M. Armstrong, David Lewis, Noam Chomsky, J. J. C. Smart, W. v. O. Quine, John Searle, Michael Dummett, Saul Kripke, Evan Fales or Hilary Putnam. Relinquish the temptation to be hoodwinked by the trendy maundering of continental clowns. Or, if you prefer, go ahead and read Zizek to learn how not to write philosophy in the same way in which you would read a romance novel to learn how not to write a serious literary opus.
This is an academic work!!! Please remember that!!! Jan 23, 2004
It seems that time and time again when I happen to come across certain reviews, such as the one particular review here which was a scathing attack on this author and the text, I just roll my eyes in exasperation and do nothing about it. Well this was the last time! Slavoj Zizek is a shinning light in the world of critical academic discourse and is regarded by his peers and academics the world over (even those who don't agree with him)as being incredibly intelligent and very creative. If the text doesn't "mean" anything to you and it seems like an incomprehensible mess then i suggest you stick to material that is more in your league. Please remember that a layperson doesn't read a medical journal on oncology for the fun of it, nor does he/she spend hours deep in Fundamentals of Corporate Finance. A medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer will probably read the former and an MBA or PHD business or accounting guru the latter. Therefore just because you can speak and read English please don't mistake this for a license to read, comprehend and comment on this type of academic text. To be perfectly honest this text is for someone with at least a graduate background in English Lit, Philosophy, Media Studies, Cultural studies etc. To actually comment with some authority on the text you should at least have a post-graduate degree such as a Masters or Doctorate. To put my argument in perspective; you wouldn't read a text on oncology and surgical procedures and comment on it unless you were a medical doctor and even more so, an oncologist. I think the person who would attack this kind of text would do likewise with Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Spivak....ohhhh jeez!!! imagine the field day they would have with Heidegger's "Being and Time".
Errors. Jan 28, 2001
The collection is very interesting, in that one gets a sense of Zizek's theoretical perspective and methodological tendencies across a range of texts. It also forces one to reconsider Lacan's work. Unfortunately, the book itself is riddled with typographical errors. The publisher should be thoroughly embarrassed by this.
An excellent intellectual high! Sep 28, 1999
Slavoj Zizek, one of the greatest minds of the late 20th century, is well repersented in this excellent collection of essays. His points of view on everything (women, philosophy, and culture) come through loud and clear. The integration of psychoanalytic, marxist, poststructural, and postmodern critiques is refreshing and his treatment of Lacan through examples from pop culture is particuraly wonderful as it aids those that are new to the subject matter (great teaching tool!). A must read for anyone that wants to get a closer look at the spectre of today's somewhat frightening culture.
The best available introduction to Zizek and Lacan Jul 10, 1999
In his preface and his original contributions to the selections in this reader, Zizek offers a clearer statement of his position [and of his interpretation of the later writings of Lacan] than in any of his other books. His voice is one which one must engage in dialogue if one is to both appropriate Marxism, psychoanalytic theory and post-structuralism and then move beyond them. He acknowledges post-structualism's accent on contingencies and the limitations of human conceptualization and theorizing while also accenting the irreplaceable roles that imagination, fantasy and idology play in our psycic and social lives. He accents the need to critique ideology and to work through our fantasies so that one can non-reductively acknowledge the uniqueness of ourselves and what we encounter and the ejoyments present in such encounters. He writes so that one can see in the antagonisms present in current forms of neo-capitalism, sexism and racism the grounds for hoping for worthwhile accomplishments in seeking to lessen the domination and oppression they are causing. This reader provides an excellent beginning point for thinkers who want to join cultural and psychoanalytic analyses in a project of social action, and who along the way want to enjoy Zizek's marvelous use of film and literature to exemplify his theoretical points. A must reading for serious students of the current social and cultural world.