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The Year of Dreaming Dangerously

The renowned philosopher finds a utopian future in worldwide protests.

Call it the year of dreaming dangerously: 2011 caught the world off guard with a series of shattering events. While protesters in New York, Cairo, London, and Athens took to the streets in pursuit of emancipation, obscure destructive fantasies inspired the world’s racist populists in places as far apart as Hungary and Arizona, achieving a horrific consummation in the actions of mass murderer Anders Breivik.

The subterranean work of dissatisfaction continues. Rage is building, and a new wave of revolts and disturbances will follow. Why? Because the events of 2011 augur a new political reality. These are limited, distorted—sometimes even perverted—fragments of a utopian future lying dormant in the present.

Reviews

  • “Such passion, in a man whose work forms a bridge between the minutiae of popular culture and the big abstract problems of existence, is invigorating, entertaining and expanding inquiring minds around the world.”
  • “A great provocateur and an immensely suggestive and even dashing writer ... Žižek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.”
  • “The thinker of choice for Europe’s young intellectual vanguard.”
  • “Zizek’s ingenious handling of culture, films, philosophy, intellectual history, personal stories, daily politics, combined with a politically incorrect wit (especially in his lectures) is truly enjoyable. This at times overwhelming combination of ideas remains unmatched in the contemporary intellectual scene.”
  • “[Žižek highlights] exciting trends in class-organization, political consciousness, cooperation, and struggle … [and] frames various victories as "signs from the future" so the necessity of inner subjective engagement with social struggle becomes clear.”
  • “His ability to fuse together Martin Heidegger's 'fundamental ontology,' Francis Fukuyama's 'end of history' and Naomi Klein's 'shock doctrine' in order to undermine our liberal and tolerant democratic structures is a practice few intellectuals are capable of.”

Blog

  • "I'd tax cats. Heavily" - Slavoj Zizek

    Renowned Slovenian philosopher and cultural theoriest, Slavoj Žižek, recently participated in a live webchat on the Guardian website. Guardian readers were asked to submit their questions for the typically rambunctious Žižek, and they ranged from his thoughts on Scottish independence, ISIS and the London riots to...cats.


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  • COMPETITION: Win all of Žižek’s titles published by Verso plus a pair of tickets to a screening of The Pervert's Guide to Ideology!

    To celebrate the release of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, we’re giving away a total of 14 Žižek books. You could win this entire Žižek library, including everything from his recent tome on dialectical materialism – Less Than Nothing – to Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan: (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock). Look at the books you can win here!

    We are also giving away tickets to a screening of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology for a special screening with a Q&A with the director Sophie Fiennes at the ICA in London on Saturday 5 October, 6pm. 

    How it works:

    There are just five questions, each relating to Žižek’s writings and films. The first person to email with all five correct answers will win the full Žižek backlist plus one pair of tickets to a screening of The Pervert's Guide to Ideology. We will also be offering four runner-up prizes of Žižek’s recently published Less Than Nothing and The Year of Dreaming Dangerously plus one pair of tickets to the screening of The Pervert's Guide to Ideology each.

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  • Indefatigable talk machines' on screen: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology starring Slavoj Žižek is out soon

    In the lead up to the release of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, The Independent and The Guardian have published interviews with the film’s co-creators, Slavoj Žižek and Sophie Fiennes.

    Largely improvised, the film exhibits the high octane intellectual energy which characterizes much of Slavoj Žižek’s work. Against the solid identities of conventional academic or philosophical respectability, his ‘habit of self-contradiction’ and ‘impromptu hyper-digressive tours de force’ make his ideas more like ‘protons ricocheting frenetically in the Large Hadron Collider of his brain’ than ‘austere’ philosophical tenets. Jonathan Romney, Žižek’s interviewer, finds joy and humour in this dynamism. For Fiennes herself, Žižek’s verve is near to being sonorous: ‘“you have to engage with it almost like music”’.

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