Demanding the Impossible

Overview

Where are we today and what is to be done? Slavoj Žižek ponders these questions in this unique and timely book. Based on live interviews, the book captures Žižek at his irrepressible best, elucidating such topics as the uprisings of the Arab Spring, the global financial crisis, populism in Latin America, the rise of China and even the riddle of North Korea. Žižek dazzles readers with his analyses of Hollywood films, Venezuelan police reports, Swedish crime fiction and much else. Wherever the conversation turns, ...

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Overview

Where are we today and what is to be done? Slavoj Žižek ponders these questions in this unique and timely book. Based on live interviews, the book captures Žižek at his irrepressible best, elucidating such topics as the uprisings of the Arab Spring, the global financial crisis, populism in Latin America, the rise of China and even the riddle of North Korea. Žižek dazzles readers with his analyses of Hollywood films, Venezuelan police reports, Swedish crime fiction and much else. Wherever the conversation turns, his energetic mind illuminates unexpected horizons.

While analyzing our present predicaments, Žižek also explores possibilities for change. What sort of society is worth striving for? Why is it difficult to imagine alternative social and political arrangements? What are the bases for hope? A key obligation in our troubled times, argues Žižek, is to dare to ask fundamental questions: we must reflect and theorize anew, and always be prepared to rethink and redefine the limits of the possible.

These original and compelling conversations offer an engaging and accessible introduction to one of the most important thinkers of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/30/2013
Asked at the end of this slim volume what "the most urgent theoretical question of our time," Zizek (The Year of Dreaming Dangerously), the seemingly ubiquitous Slovenian philosopher, urges his audience to "redefine and rethink the limits of the possible and the impossible." This is as close to a thesis statement as one will get from the intellectually acrobatic philosopher who seems to delight in his provocations and incendiary remarks. Culled from live interviews and organized by editor Park as a series of 34 questions to which Zizek provides brief responses, this book meanders across a wide variety of topics, touching on conceptions of the common good, the trajectory of capitalism, and the state of revolution as Zizek explains his fear that the modern divorce of capitalism and democracy will lead to authoritarianism and a global apartheid society. The only hope, according to Zizek, is to break with traditional leftist tactics and radically reimagine our values. While some of Zizek's pronouncements have been complicated by recent events—particularly his analysis of Egypt's potential following the resignation of Mubarak—this book nonetheless stands as a helpful and accessible entry point into the thoughts of a man quickly proving to be one of the most trenchant cultural critics of our time. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Zizek is, in fact, the most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged from Europe in several decades."
Terry Eagleton

"Zizek is to today what Jacques Derrida was to the '80s: the thinker of choice for Europe's young intellectual vanguard."
The Observer


" an excellent introduction to both the breadth and depth of Zizek’s ideas, made all the better to follow his arguments via an imaginative format of short thematic interviews." an excellent introduction to both the breadth and depth of Zizek’s ideas, made all the better to follow his arguments via an imaginative format of short thematic interviews."

"An excellent introduction to both the breadth and depth of Zizek’s ideas, made all the better to follow his arguments via an imaginative format of short thematic interviews."
The Substantive

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745672298
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/7/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 693,001
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Slavoj Zizek 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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1) Politics and Responsibility
2) Obsession for Harmony / Compulsion to Identify
3) Politicization of Ethics
4) Means Without End: Political Phronesis
5) “May you live in interesting times”
6) Communism The Ethico-political Fiasco
7) Who is Afraid of a Failed Revolution?
8) Another World is Possible
9) For They Know Not What They Do
10) Parallax View on Post-modern Globalization
11) The Public Use of the Scandal
12) The Screen of Politeness / Empty Gestures and Performatives
13) Deadlock of Totalitarian Communism
14) The Subversive Use of Theory
15) Becoming Proletarian Position
16) New Forms of Apartheid
17) Intrusion of the Excluded into the Socio-Political Space
18) Rage Capital and Risk-Taking Revolutionary Changes
19) Café Revolution
20) To Begin from the Beginning
21) The Fear of Real Love
22) Dialectic of Liberal Superiority
23) The Day After
24) The Universality of Political Miracles
25) Messianism, Multitude, and Wishful Thinking
26) Politicization of Favelas
27) Bolivarianism, the Populist Temptation
28) Violent Civil Disobedience
29) Legitimacy of Symbolic Violence
30) Gandhi, Aristide, and Divine Violence
31) No Moralization But Egotism
32) Possibility of Concrete Universality
33) Common Struggle for Freedom
34) The Impossible Happens

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