Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh, Zizek, you crazy diamond!

I watched a documentary on Slavoj Zizek, the rather flamboyant and controversial philosopher-literary critic-academic. He's honestly laugh out loud funny. Anyway, here's a quote I stole from James K.A. Smith's blog (, as he in turn quotes Zizek, speaking of traditional marriage as a dynamically counter-cultural commitment:
What if, in our postmodern world of ordained transgression, in which the marital commitment is perceived as ridiculously out of time, those who cling to it are the true subversives? What if, today, straight marriage is 'the most dark and daring of all transgressions?'" - Zizek, "The Thrilling Romance of Orthodoxy," in Theology and the Political: The New Debate

A praise of traditional marriage by Slavoj Zizek, self-proclaimed Lacanian-Marxist, and an academic known as "the wild man of theory" (!)

Speaking of which, I kinda think that Lacan is ridiculous. There is a scene in the movie where Zizek is watching Lacan extolling his philosophy on French television, and Zizek talks about how phony the whole thing is (the form of Lacan's lecture, that is, not the actual content thereof). It is interesting that Zizek calls himself a Lacanian and yet offers constructive critique of Lacan - I think it is quite sensible that he feels free to critique Lacan and remain within a Lacanian framework. I sensed some sort of tentative binary being hinted at, wherein Derrida and Lacan are seen as two opposing camps within post-structuralism. Seems kind of funny, especially given post-structuralism's professed deep aversion and violent deconstruction of "Western" binaries.

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