The Fright of Real Tears (Introduction)

The Strange Case of the Missing Lacanians If this book had been published twenty-five years ago, in the heyday of ‘structuralist Marxism’, its subtitle, undoubtedly, would have been ‘On Class Struggle in Cinema’. Let me begin by stating the obvious, with what in France they call une vérité de la Police’. to put it in good old Maoist terms, the principal contradiction of today’s cinema studies is the one between the deconstructionist/feminist/post-Marxist/psychoanalytic/sociocritical/cultural studies etc. approach,[ …]

The Fright of Real Tears (Preface)

This book out of a series of lectures that Slavoj Zizek delivered at London’s National Film Theatre in the summer of 1998. My invitation to give these lectures had a very precise purpose. I wanted Slavoj to address the weaknesses and insularity of film studies as they had developed in the university sector over the previous two decades. The lectures were intended to mark the end of a cycle of work in which at every[ …]

“I’m a Fighting Atheist”, Interview with Doug Henwood

Question: A lot of readers of American underground publications read Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, and the stuff coming out of small anarchist presses. What would they get from reading your work that they might be missing? Zizek: Martin Heidegger said that philosophy doesn’t make things easier, it makes them harder and more complicated. What they can learn is the ambiguity of so many situations, in the sense that whenever we are presented by the[ …]

Some Bewildered Clarifications: A Response to Noam Chomsky by Slavoj Žižek

Since Noam Chomsky’s “Fantasies” (July 21, 2013) present themselves as a reaction to my reply to his interview with a critical dismissal of my work, a brief clarification is needed. What Chomsky refers to as my “reply” is a non-authorized and not accurate transcription of my answer to a question from the public during a recent debate at Birkbeck college in London. As it would be clear from a full transcription, at that moment I[ …]

A life in writing: Slavoj Žižek, Interview with Stuart Jeffries

“There is an anarchist leftist group here in London who hate me,” says Slavoj Žižek with a giggle as we settle into a dilapidated leather sofa in the bar of his Bloomsbury hotel. He is wearing freebie airline socks, an Italian T-shirt someone gave him and jeans that could easily have been made decades earlier in an unsuccessful Soviet tractor factory. “But fuck it, let’s speak frankly, no bullshit, most of the left hates me[ …]

Slavoj Žižek: interview, with Sean O’Hagan

  The large lecture hall of the French Institute in Barcelona is full to overflowing. People line the walls, sit in the aisles and stand three-deep at the back. There are a few middle-aged, smartly dressed people in attendance as well as a handful of old leftists with long hair and caps, but the majority of the audience are young and stylishly dishevelled, the kind of people one would expect to see at a Hot[ …]

Liberation Hurts, Interview with Eric Dean Rasmussen

Eric Dean Rasmussen: In The Puppet and the Dwarf one of your theoretical maxims is that “in our politically correct times, it is always advisable to start with the set of unwritten prohibitions that define the positions one is allowed to adopt.” You argue that although proclamations for various forms of multiculturalist spirituality are currently in vogue, professing “serious” religious beliefs – that is, proclaiming one’s faith devoutly and unironically – is an exemplary case of an[ …]

Civil Society, Fanaticism, and Digital Reality: A Conversation with Slavoj Zizek, Interview with Geert Lovink

Geert Lovink: Let’s speak about the role of intellectuals. Before 1989, there was a strange relationship among intellectuals and those in power in Eastern Europe. Both bureaucrats and dissidents had some sort of relationship with politics. Even now, this is partly the case. In Western Europe this phenomenon disappeared and it is hard to see any relationship or even dialogue. What should be the role of intellectuals? Slavoj Zizek: Partially this is true. For me[ …]

Reflections of Media and Politics and Cinema, Interview with Geert Lovink

Geert Lovink: You have been to Japan. What’s your opinion on the technological culture in this country? Slavoj Zizek: First I must say that I don’t have my own positive theory about Japan. What I do have, as every Western intellectual, are the myths of reference. There is the old, right wing image of the Samurai code, fighting to death, the absolute, ethical Japan. Then there is the leftist image, from Eisenschtein already: the semiotic[ …]