Slavoj Žižek quotes

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Slavoj Žižek

Birthdate: 21. March 1949

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian continental philosopher. He is a professor at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London. He works in subjects including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism and theology.

In 1989, Žižek published his first English text, The Sublime Object of Ideology, in which he departed from traditional Marxist theory to develop a materialist conception of ideology that drew heavily on Lacanian psychoanalysis and Hegelian idealism. His early theoretical work became increasingly eclectic and political in the 1990s, dealing frequently in the critical analysis of disparate forms of popular culture and making him a popular figure of the academic left. A critic of capitalism, neoliberalism and political correctness, Žižek calls himself a political radical, and his work has been characterized as challenging orthodoxies of both the political right and the social-liberal universities.Žižek's idiosyncratic style, popular academic works, frequent magazine op-eds, and critical assimilation of high and low culture have gained him international influence, controversy, criticism and a substantial audience outside academe. In 2012, Foreign Policy listed Žižek on its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, calling him "a celebrity philosopher" while elsewhere he has been dubbed the "Elvis of cultural theory" and "the most dangerous philosopher in the West". Žižek's work was chronicled in a 2005 documentary film entitled Zizek! A scholarly journal, the International Journal of Žižek Studies, was founded to engage his work.

Works

„We feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom.“

—  Slavoj Žižek

"Introduction: The Missing Ink", in Welcome to the Desert of the Real!: Five Essays on September 11 and Related Dates (2002), p. 2

„Darcy wants to present himself to Elizabeth as a proud gentleman, and he gets from her the message 'your pride is nothing but contemptible arrogance.' After the break in their relationship each discovers, through a series of accidents, the true nature of the other - she the sensitive and tender nature of Darcy, he her real dignity and wit - and the novel ends as it should, with their marriage. The theoretical interest of this story lies in the fact that the failure of their first encounter, the double misrecognition concerning the real nature of the other, functions as a positive condition of the final outcome: we cannot say 'if, from the very beginning, she had recognized his real nature and he hers, their story could have ended at once with their marriage.' Let us take a comical hypothesis that the first encounter of the future lovers was a success - that Elizabeth had accepted Darcy's first proposal. What would happen? Instead of being bound together in true love they would become a vulgar everyday couple, a liaison of an arrogant, rich man and a pretentious, every-minded young girl… If we want to spare ourselves the painful roundabout route through the misrecognition, we miss the truth itself: only the working-through of the misrecognition allows us to accede to the true nature of the other and at the same time to overcome our own deficiency - for Darcy, to free himself of his false pride; for Elizabeth, to get rid of her prejudices.“

—  Slavoj Žižek, book The Sublime Object of Ideology

67
The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989)

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„Insofar as the gap between essence and appearance is inherent to appearance, in other words, infsofar as essence is nothing but appearance reflected into itself, appearance is appearance against the background of nothing - everything appears ultimately out of nothing.“

—  Slavoj Žižek

Source: Less Than Nothing (2012), Chapter One (The Drink Before), Vacillating The Semblances
Context: The implicit lesson of Plato is not that everything is appearance, that it is not possible to draw a clear line of separation between appearance and reality (that would have meant the victory of Sophism), but that essence is "appearance as appearance,"that essence appears in contrast to appearance within appearance; that the distinction between appearance and essence has to be inscribed into appearance itself. Insofar as the gap between essence and appearance is inherent to appearance, in other words, infsofar as essence is nothing but appearance reflected into itself, appearance is appearance against the background of nothing - everything appears ultimately out of nothing.

„What cannot be described should be inscribed into the artistic form as its uncanny distortion.“

—  Slavoj Žižek

Source: Less Than Nothing (2012), Chapter One (The Drink Before), Vacillating The Semblances
Context: The horror of the Holocaust cannot be represented; but this excess of represented content over its aesthetic representation has to infect the aesthetic form itself. What cannot be described should be inscribed into the artistic form as its uncanny distortion.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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