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October 16, 2005


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Adam Kotsko

Are there any good Lacanian analysts in your neck of the woods? Reportedly, it's impossible to do this stuff by yourself.


Right--and, then the problem becomes: is it simply an excuse that the closest Lacanian analysts are 60-90 minutes away, that I hate driving, that it snows 5 months a year, and that I can't spend that much time driving around because of the kids? Am I pathetically avoiding analysis or pragmatically assessing the situation. The truth, unfortunately, is that my pragmatic assessment of the situation leads me pathetically to avoid analysis!!

Yet, there exists at least One Lacanian who was unanalyzeable....

Adam Kotsko

In all honesty, when I first read that review, I thought, "Oh shit, I was wrong," in large part because it was appearing in Zizek's book and was on lacan.com, thus lending it an air of authority.

My excuse for not going to analysis is that I'm a man, and men are obsessives, so it usually doesn't work anyway.


Adam, I've been wondering 'what if I'm wrong on the reading of Z?' as well...but, then I happily decided that this would be great!

Amish Lovelock

We're probably right, but I bet he secretly loves this into.



I read the introduction lightly when Adam linked to it on one of your other posts. Since you've posted on this in more detail here and in Long Sunday, I forced myself to read it again. I think the authors have a number of things wrong - but I believe they are being deliberately provocative. A few of the more *interesting* quotes:

“that it is not simply a matter of these two highly "engaged" thinkers suddenly losing their nerve…as so many others on the Left did”

"...might we not say that on the level of form Zizek wants to see himself as an "engaged" intellectual, but on the level of content he is struck by a kind of paralysis, unable to suggest any meaningful action?"

“His new, seemingly extreme radical Leftism might ultimately only be a way of maintaining his original liberal "conservatism" within the new conditions of the Left's theoretical perversion and decline.”

“Indeed, Zizek's entire work—even his so-called theoretical arguments—is merely a series of details understood in this way.”

“Blair is like Lenin, who understood he was to be thrown away after his usefulness was over, while his deputy, Gordon Brown, the Chancellor the Exchequer, is more like Stalin?”

Each of these quotes can be argued against pretty convincingly, plus the wording appears to want to *outrage* (trying to be like Z, without the skill)

Anyway, I'll spend more time on it - but I can understand why this is bothersome.


yes, there is something that seems deliberate here, like they want to outrage--but who? Zizek? That seems odd as an introduction to his work. I agree that they want to be 'like Zizek'--perhaps this is why they are twisting him into his opposite...


I don't know - I don't always read introductions (I'm bad that way), so I guess a couple of outrageous comments early on "hooks" you in.

But the rest of the intro is so overboard without the substance to back it up (I mean Lenin as a throwaway?!?) that you would want to put down the book and throw down a shot of scotch before you get started again. Provocative in a mean-spirited way, not in a "lets get the crowd warmed up" way.

This is what happens when art critics get out of their area of expertise.

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