Žižek & les non-dupes errent

Readers of the blog may be interested in this short, provocative piece by Yasmin Nair about Žižek, but perhaps more about particular receptions of Žižek and the way that those often play out along gendered lines.

My larger point here is that Žižek represents a comforting spot for overgrown graduate students. I’m often struck by the very gendered response to Žižek, whose biggest fans seem to be men and particularly men who look for neoligistic responses to culture which allow them to sneak in vague responses to Marx and Hegel to impress people. There’s a clueless dude-osity to many of their responses to Žižek, often imbued with an intellectual chest-butting of sorts. The most thrilling parts of Žižek, for them, are the more scatalogical bits and parts. In effect, Žižek allows people to engage in academic potty humour, to delight in what they think is the profane, everything they weren’t allowed to discuss openly while growing up in suburbia.

Already, in the explication of the nom du père (which can also be heard as les non-dupes errent), Lacan warned that one of the greatest dangers of psychoanalysis is to assume that it allows one to achieve a position above all the other dupes. However, we’ve all seen the arrogant Žižek readers who put him to use to proclaim a new orthodoxy.

Read the rest of her post here.

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