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Iraq : The Borrowed Kettle

By (author) Slavoj Zizek

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In order to render the strange logic of dreams, Freud quoted the old 'joke' about the borrowed kettle: 1) I never borrowed a kettle from you, 2) I returned it to you unbroken, 3) the kettle was already broken when I got it from you. Such an enumeration of inconsistent arguments, of course, confirms exactly what it endeavours to deny - that I returned a broken kettle to you...That same inconsistency argues Zizek, characterized the justification of the attack on Iraq whereby Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda against all the evidence, then it was asserted he posed a threat to the whole region, which in turn became a threat to the rest of the world with his weapons of mass destruction. When no significant weapons were found the logic became even more bizarre...Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle analyses the background that such inconsistent argumentation conceals and, simultaneously, cannot help but highlight: what were the actual ideological and political stakes of the attack on Iraq? In iconoclastic Zizekian style, it spares nothing and nobody, neither pathetically impotent pacificism nor hypocritical sympathy with the suffering of the Iraqi people.

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  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 138 x 190 x 22mm | 358.34g
  • 17 Jul 2004
  • Verso Books
  • London
  • English
  • 1844670015
  • 9781844670017

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Author Information

Slavoj Zizek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies in Ljubljana. His books include The Sublime Object of Ideology, Everything you always wanted to know about Lacan (but were afraid to ask Hitchcock), The Plague of Fantasies and The Ticklish Subject.

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Review quote

"'Zizek leaves no social or natural phenomenon untheorized, and is the master of the counterintuitive observation.' New Yorker; 'Hopping from peak to peak, and periodically descending into the valley of present-day culture for refreshment, Zizek outlines a topology of activity that recovers revealed truths... he has utilized language to re-enscribe the terms of resistance and the game of turning things upside down to empty them out and examine them.' Counterpunch; 'The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged from Europe in some decades.' Terry Eagleton"

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