In this provocative and original work, Slavoj i ek takes a look at the question of human agency in a postmodern world. From the sinking of the Titanic to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, from the operas of Wagner to science fiction, from Alien to the Jewish Joke, the author’s acute analyses explore the ideological fantasies of wholeness and exclusion which make up human society.
i ek takes issue with analysts of the postmodern condition from Habermas to Sloterdijk, showing that the idea of a ‘post-ideological’ world ignores the fact that ‘even if we do not take things seriously, we are still doing them’. Rejecting postmodernism’s unified world of surfaces, he traces a line of thought from Hegel to Althusser and Lacan, in which the human subject is split, divided by a deep antagonism which determines social reality and through which ideology operates.
Linking key psychoanalytical and philosophical concepts to social phenomena such as totalitarianism and racism, the book explores the political significance of these fantasies of control. In so doing, The Sublime Object of Ideology represents a powerful contribution to a psychoanalytical theory of ideology, as well as offering persuasive interpretations of a number of contemporary cultural formations.
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Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.Review:
“The Elvis of cultural theory.”—Chronicle of Higher Education
“The giant of Ljubljana provides the best intellectual high since Anti-Oedipus.”—The Village Voice
“The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in many decades.”—Terry Eagleton
“Unafraid of confrontation and with a near limitless grasp of pop symbolism”—The Times
“ i ek is a thinker who regards nothing as outside his field: the result is deeply interesting and provocative.”—Guardian
“ i ek is one of the few living writers to combine theoretical rigor with compulsive readability.”—Publishers Weekly
“ i ek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation”—New Yorker
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