Žižek’s reading machine

Noys, B. (2015) Žižek’s reading machine. In: Repeating Žižek. Sic . Duke University Press, pp. 72-83. ISBN 9780822359050

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Alain Badiou writes that Slavoj Žižek’s work ‘is the first time that anyone has proposed to psychoanalyze our whole world.’ I want to take Žižek seriously as a reader, even as a reading machine who consumes everything. Of course, Žižek is constantly accused of being a bad reader: sloppy, inaccurate, too rapid, dependent on secondary sources, and otherwise unreliable. Without simply exonerating Žižek from these charges, I want to consider this ‘bad reading’, which violates the protocols of academia and philosophy, as a method. Whereas Žižek seeks his own philosophical credentials as a ‘dialectical materialist philosopher’ in his ontology of incompletion – of the ‘non-all’ – I will argue that the true domain of his ‘philosophy’ is a practice of interpretation and reading. Contrary to the image of Žižek as constantly reterritorializing everything under his conceptual matrix, and more particularly the Lacanian ‘Real’, we find that, as in Žižek’s reading of the Oedipus complex, he deterritorializes philosophy. Reversing the valence of Geoffrey Harpham’s claim that Žižek is ‘the end of knowledge’, I will argue his method is the end of knowledge, but also the birth of truth. This truth is the displacement and reworking of philosophy coincident with the world.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Benjamin Noys
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2015 11:42
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 12:38
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/1342

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