Zizek’s anecdotes in The Universal Exception

While fully justified at its own level, the notion of censorship at work in this criticism, with its Foucauldian background of Power, which, in the very act of censorship and other forms of exclusion, generates the excess it endeavours to contain and dominate, nonetheless seems to fall short at a crucial point: what it misses is the way in which censorship not only affects the status of the marginal or subversive force that the Power[ …]

A Soft Focus on War

When Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker won all the big Oscars over James Cameron’s Avatar, the victory was perceived as a good sign of the state of things in Hollywood: A modest production meant for independent festivals clearly overran a superproduction whose technical brilliance cannot cover up the flat simplicity of its story. Did this mean that Hollywood is not just a blockbuster machine, but still knows how to appreciate marginal creative efforts? Maybe–but that’s a[ …]

Green Berets with a Human Face

The victory at the Oscars of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker over James Cameron’s Avatar was generally perceived as a good sign of the state of things in Hollywood: a low-budget, independent film overcomes a superproduction whose technical brilliance cannot cover up the flat simplicity of its story. So Hollywood is not just a blockbuster machine, but still knows how to appreciate marginal creative efforts. Well, maybe. But it’s also the case that, with all its mystifications,[ …]

From Joyce-the-Symptom to the Symptom of Power

What does Lacan’s thesis on “Joyce-the-symptom” aim at? Joyce’s famous statement that he wrote Finnegans Wake in order to keep literary historians busy for the next 400 years has to be read against the background of Lacan’s assertion that, within a psychoanalytic cure, a symptom is always addressed at the analyst and as such points forward towards its interpretation. The “modernism” of Joyce resides in the fact that his works, at least Ulysses and Finnegans[ …]