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July 19, 2005


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Charles R

I like what you are writing in (2), in that it gives some insight as to why 'shit' appears so much in his late writings. Not in the things on the excremental, the scum or dregs of things, but particularly on shit as the more abrasive way of saying it. It would be neat (for me) if Žižek whenever he goes on about Paul were to talk about how Paul wrote that all of the seemingly beneficial and honorable things in his life are "skubala" in comparison to Christ (Phil 3:8). It's perhaps wrong to say skubala is 'shit', but for Paul to make that direct comparison is powerful stuff even if it is just 'feces' or 'poo' he's using.

It makes me think, when you talk about the structural resemblance between him and the right, of how many conservative evangelicals flout their own perversity in light of a university discourse—one only has to think of, for instance, the evolution and creation debate. Although there are apologists who attempt to give a rational and coherent young earth cosmology grounded in both a strict reading of Genesis and science, there are those who explicitly and stridently reject the harmonization of Genesis with science. Yet, what joins these two groups (apologists and "anti-harmonizers") together beyond the strict reading of Genesis is the stance taken in opposition to the "ruling ideology" (or so) of dominant science. They, from their own point of view, are the cast aside without a voice to make truly significant changes in the scientific community, and this inability to effect anything there pushes them to want to make changes in the legal community. That makes me think about, then, of a comparison or analogy to Žižek's polemics against mainstream liberalism. What if, rather than looking to change the academic community through its own practices, Ž in his structural resemblance to such a right as these creationists has turned to a different community so as to circumvent the former (an idea compatible with what you're saying in (1))?

Just some random thoughts after a long work day.


Charles R
(sorry to be so late in responding; I hope not too late!)

Anyway, I love your suggestion re the homology between Z and the creationists. Great point: perhaps Z is not properly read in terms of university discourse at all, but in terms of a perverse stance toward it, one that deliberately works to produce another kind of discourse. This could account for much of his popular writing. And then I wonder, is there something fundamentally contradictory in 'taiming' or structuring his points within an academic frame?

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