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Zizek's Jokes: (Did You Hear the One About Hegel and Negation?)

Zizek's Jokes: (Did You Hear the One About Hegel and Negation?)

Book rating: 01 Hardback

By (author) Slavoj Zizek, Edited by Audun Mortensen, Afterword by "Momus"

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  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Format: Hardback | 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 198mm x 18mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 4 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
  • ISBN 10: 0262026716
  • ISBN 13: 9780262026710
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 39,561

Product description

"A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes." -- Ludwig Wittgenstein The good news is that this book offers an entertaining but enlightening compilation of Zizekisms. Unlike any other book by Slavoj Zizek, this compact arrangement of jokes culled from his writings provides an index to certain philosophical, political, and sexual themes that preoccupy him. Zizek's Jokes contains the set-ups and punch lines -- as well as the offenses and insults -- that Zizek is famous for, all in less than 200 pages. So what's the bad news? There is no bad news. There's just the inimitable Slavoj Zizek, disguised as an impossibly erudite, politically incorrect uncle, beginning a sentence, "There is an old Jewish joke, loved by Derrida..." For Zizek, jokes are amusing stories that offer a shortcut to philosophical insight. He illustrates the logic of the Hegelian triad, for example, with three variations of the "Not tonight, dear, I have a headache" classic: first the wife claims a migraine; then the husband does; then the wife exclaims, "Darling, I have a terrible migraine, so let's have some sex to refresh me!" A punch line about a beer bottle provides a Lacanian lesson about one signifier. And a "truly obscene" version of the famous "aristocrats" joke has the family offering a short course in Hegelian thought rather than a display of unspeakables. Zizek's Jokes contains every joke cited, paraphrased, or narrated in Zizek's work in English (including some in unpublished manuscripts), including different versions of the same joke that make different points in different contexts. The larger point being that comedy is central to Zizek's seriousness.

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Author information

Slavoj Zizek is a philosopher and cultural critic. He is the author of more than thirty books, including Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity, The Parallax View, and (with John Milbank) The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialect, these four published by the MIT Press.

Customer reviews

By Ian Clark 25 Apr 2014 1

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! Žižek's Jokes are on us. I thought that being associated with Wittgenstein's pithy aphorism, it would be zen-like, crystalline, and illuminating. Not so, rubber ducky! It is a compendium of tired old eastern European jokes about the Soviet era and indulges deeply in the misogynist rhetoric to which we have unfortunately accustomed emanating from Slavic males. This book is almost devoid of value, except to warn that with Žižek we have someone who is not only contemptuous of the Capitalist system, but is quite happy to exploit it and, more particularly, fellow human beings in order to line his own pockets. It is an exercise in hypocrisy.