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Why Nothing Is Žižekproof

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek will hopefully always generate as much praise as criticism. Simon Jarvis writes of one of Žižek's recent works, The Parallax View: Žižek himself describes this work as “his magnum opus”, but it is not really an … Read More

By / May 30, 2007

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek will hopefully always generate as much praise as criticism. Simon Jarvis writes of one of Žižek's recent works, The Parallax View:

Žižek himself describes this work as “his magnum opus”, but it is not really an opus at all. It is the valuable record of what an extremely intelligent Hegelian-Lacanian happens to think about whatever happens to have crossed his cerebral cortex at the time of writing.

Jarvis notes early on that Žižek has rendered classical German philosophy deconstruction-proof and recuperated universalism, then concludes by saying that the fellow "must try harder" if he is to put his talents to good use. Wait–how long has the liberal academy been stuck in its pathologically particularist, Derridean, Foucauldian loop again? Žižek is certainly not always on point, and he may pimp one soda, Hollywood film, or dead dictator too many to make his points, but it's precisely the resistance of his thought to orthodoxy that makes him essential. It'll actually be cause for concern when the shining reviews start pouring in.

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