Slavoj Žižek Trashes His New Book

I found this amusing:

As a cleaner flits about, I ask him if he is surprised at his popularity, particularly among the young.

“My God, I am the last person to know the answer to these questions,” he says, looking genuinely dismayed. “But, really, I am now thinking there is so much pressure on me to perform. I am getting really bored with it. I am a thinker, but people all the time want this kind of shitty political interventions: the books, the talks, the discussions and so forth.” He sighs and closes his eyes and seems to deflate before my eyes. “I will tell you my problem openly and for this my publisher will hate me. All the talk and the writing about politics, this is not where my heart is. No. I have been sidetracked. I really mean this.”

He opens a copy of Living in the End Times, and finds the contents page. “I will tell you the truth now,” he says, pointing to the first chapter, then the second. “Bullshit. Some more bullshit. Blah, blah, blah.” He flicks furiously through the pages. “Chapter 3, where I try to read Marx anew, is maybe OK. I like this part where I analyse Kafka’s last story and here where I use the community of outcasts in the TV series Heroes as a model for the communist collective. But, this section, the Architectural Parallax, this is pure bluff. Also the part where I analyse Avatar, the movie, that is also pure bluff. When I wrote it, I had not even seen the film, but I am a good Hegelian. If you have a good theory, forget about the reality.”

Why, then, given that he does not like most of his books and does not have any enthusiasm for the lecture circuit, does he not call a stop to the Žižek show? “I am doing that right now!” he shouts. “I am writing a mega-book about Hegel with regard to Plato, Kant and maybe Heidegger. Already, this Hegel book is 700 pages. It is a true work of love. This is my true life’s work. Even Lacan is just a tool for me to read Hegel. For me, always it is Hegel, Hegel, Hegel,” he says, sighing again. “But people just want the shitty politics.”


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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Marimear

    This guy is just crazy?

  • Zeeshit

    Zizek is full of shit perhaps. He provides no answer as to why he continues his shitty interventions including comical corporate news interviews and pop culture analysis like movie reviews..

    • yowhatitlooklike

      He is likely being pressured by his publishers to put out political/cultural crap. Or he is self-motivated, out of greed or necessity, who knows. This is his bread and butter, after all. It sucks for anyone who actually followed him for more than one book, getting the same tired anecdotes and go-nowhere stream-of-consciousness political rants. I swear, sometimes it’s like his writing is the equivalent of half-heartedly surfing a Communist Lacano-Hegelian Wikipedia. But it’s “what we want” unfortunately. “Teach a man to think that he’s thinking and he will love you…” etc. I don’t know about anyone else here, but I don’t read Zizek for the same reasons I did when I first encountered him… eventually it’s in the philosophical stuff I found any the meat his thought. It’s nice to hear he’s doing a sustained book on Hegel. I hope he can pull it off without all the filler.


    My God…why should Zizek provide answers to why he do what he does! This is as crazy as saying please provide answers to why do you do what you do and endlessly why do you live? Are we crazy…

    I think that Zizek’s thought have found resonance among many intellectuals across the Globe. That’s the answer. Please ask people why do they like what he says. I think he is the most important communist philosopher in contemporary times…

  • James Gray


    why should Zizek provide answers to why he do what he does!

    Did he? It mostly just sounded like a confession to me.

  • Douglas Lain

    For whatever its worth I find Zizek’s philosophical writings to be much more convincing than his political interventions. Frankly he isn’t the guy to do political interventions at all anyhow. The political interventions are going on in Greece and Spain and before that in Egypt and Tunisia. Maybe Zizek’s philosophical works will be of use to that struggle. Hopefully.