Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Slavoj Žižek

A terrific pleasure to see and hear Slavoj Žižek at City Arts & Lectures the other night. He covered his usual themes with customary élan, saying what he has talked about in more than 2K videos currently available on YouTube. The audience consisted mainly I think of philosophy and cultural studies majors from local universities, and it is interesting to see how he entrances a younger generation of intellectuals, if for no other reason perhaps that he puts forward a new image for the modern philosopher—a scruffy-looking, grubbily-clad contemporary Diogenes with a Slovenian accent and a disorderly manner and a taste for off-color jokes. No wonder he received the Guardian's award in 2011 for "Coolest philosopher of the year." Academic teachers of philosophy look like bureaucratic twats in comparison.

In addition he really delivers the goods, at least if you're interested in Lacan, Hegel and Marx, who have always been my own favorite theorists. Žižek, who can write books faster than I can read them, just released a thousand-page volume on Hegel and Diamat (dialectical materialism) entitled "Less than Nothing." Bang goes my summer reading list.


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