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The Plague of Fantasies (Wo Es War)
Slavoj Zizek is, without doubt, one of the most stimulating and vibrant thinkers of our time, and his idiosyncratic blend of Lacan and Hegel is always sparkling with insight and studded with amusing stories, anecdotes and jokes. In The Plague of Fantasies Zizek approaches another enormous subject with characteristic brio and provocativeness. The current...
Slavoj Zizek is, without doubt, one of the most stimulating and vibrant thinkers of our time, and his idiosyncratic blend of Lacan and Hegel is always sparkling with insight and studded with amusing stories, anecdotes and jokes. In The Plague of Fantasies Zizek approaches another enormous subject with characteristic brio and provocativeness. The current epoch is plagued by fantasms: there is an ever intensifying antagonism between the process of ever greater abstraction of our lives - whether in the form of digitalization or market relations - and the deluge of pseudo-concrete images which surround us. Traditional critical thought would have sought to trace the roots of abstract notions in concrete social reality; but today, the correct procedure is the inverse - from pseudo-concrete imagery to the abstract process which structures our lives. Ranging in his examples from national differences in toilet design to cybersex, and from intellectuals' responses to the Bosnian war to Robert Schumann's music, Zizek explores the relations between fantasy and ideology, the way in which fantasy animates enjoy-ment while protecting against its excesses, the associations of the notion of fetishism with fantasized seduction, and the ways in which digitalization and cyberspace affect the status of subjectivity. To the already initiated, The Plague of Fantasies will be a welcome reminder of why they enjoy Zizek's writing so much. For new readers, it will be the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship.
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