Zizek's Jokes

Zizek's Jokes : (Did you hear the one about Hegel and negation?)

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Zizek as comedian: jokes in the service of philosophy.

"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Zizek's Jokes contains every joke cited, paraphrased, or narrated in Zizek's work in English (including some in unpublished manuscripts), including different versions of the same joke that make different points in different contexts.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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Product details

  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 127 x 191 x 17mm | 313g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0262026716
  • 9780262026710
  • 52,475

About Slavoj Zizek

Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity, The Parallax View, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic (with John Milbank), and Zizek's Jokes (Did you hear the one about Hegel and negation?), these five published by the MIT Press.
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Rating details

609 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 18% (107)
4 33% (198)
3 35% (212)
2 11% (64)
1 5% (28)

Our customer reviews

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.show more
by Ian Clark
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