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Living in the End Times: Updated New Edition [Paperback]

Slavoj Zizek
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2011
There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. Slavoj Zizek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Slavoj Zizek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal. For this edition, Zizek has written a long afterword that leaves almost no subject untouched, from WikiLeaks to the nature of the Chinese Communist Party.

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Living in the End Times: Updated New Edition + First As Tragedy, Then As Farce + The Sublime Object of Ideology (Essential Zizek)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; Rev Upd edition (3 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844677028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844677023
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A compendium of long passages of fierce brilliance . . . Zizek is consistently penetrating. --Steven Poole, Guardian

Never ceases to dazzle. --Brian Dillon, Daily Telegraph

The thinker of choice for Europe s young intellectual vanguard ... to witness Zizek in full flight is a wonderful and at times alarming experience, part philosophical tightropewalk, part performance-art marathon, part intellectual roller-coaster ride. --Sean O'Hagan, Observer

About the Author

SLAVOJ Zizek is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marx out of ten : ten 1 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After watching Slavoj Zizek on you tube like all modern humans are want to do ... I found seeing his magnificence in print exhilarating . I could hear his voice in my head , with all his affectations screaming at me loud and clear, and followed his trains of thought with as much ease as I enjoyed recognising all the filmic references in Skyfall. Zizek is the man of the moment . This latest tome confirms his brilliance without reinforcing my ignorance. Truly wonderful .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to understand? 20 Aug 2012
By J A R P
There is a lot not to understand about existence, but, in favour of 'the public use of reason', Zizek does actually intend for you to understand him.

Let us see: he casts aspersions upon the contemporary life and culture of us all. This appeals to adolescents, and is fun in itself; the deeper reason for this is that he believes that Communism is the sole alternative to Capitalism.

He understands that ours is a capitalist culture; he explains, in this book, why capitalism is almost unchallengeable; he explains why it must be challenged: it must be challenged because it is the main cause of all the ways in which the human race is going to destroy itself.

We live at the moment when the world is going to collapse. We also live at a time when everyone really knows that Capitalism is the cause of this collapse; but, at a time when there is no obvious way out of it.

First we deny this coming doom; then we grow angry; then we bargain with it; then we will grow despairing; and finally we will accept it - the destruction of our life world, and the end of Capitalism.

I mention only three things, finally.. 1. What the causes of the collapse will most likely be; 2. What Zizek's medicine is; 3. Why this book is so strange.

1. The causes of the collapse will be rogue states with nukes, or, ecological disaster, or, man made superbug, and things of that kind.

2. Zizek proposes a return to revolutionary thinking, politics, totalitarian style thinking - based however on having learned lessons from the mistakes of the past - without however, giving up on the risk and the 'violence'.
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60 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for Daily Mail Readers ... 27 July 2010
Negative reviews of Zizek's work unimaginatively tend to rehash tired old cliches about his personal mannerisms and his failure to provide neat answers, and consist of plain-English-campaign type moans about a lack of intelligibility etc. etc. Such responses illustrate the image-obsessed, ends-orientated mentality of the bovine mass culture that Zizek consistently undermines.

If your idea of philosophy is Alain de Botton/Roger Scruton you will not like this book, if you fail to appreciate that the role of philosophy is to ask questions not to provide pat answers, again, you will not like this book.

It isn't Zizek's best - but it still provides more than enough challenging ideas and fascinating interpretations(e.g. the notion that the biblical injunction to "turn the other cheek" is actually much more ambiguous than is standardly understood) to justify purchasing it and enjoying the intellectual equivalent of whitewater rafting.
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104 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slavoj Zizek - The Elvis of Marxism? 25 July 2010
More years ago than I care to remember I did a political philosophy course at University with a lecturer who would delight in spinning out names which sounded terribly glamorous and obscure. Many of these people seemed to reside in Paris while others seemed quite partial to Frankfurt. They included thinkers like Theodore Adorno, Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan. The trick with said lecturer was to try and find quotes from books by these "great men" and in turn quote them back at him in your coursework. The slight problem with this theory was that as it turned out much of the stuff that they wrote was unreadable bilge and fashionable nonsense. There wasn't a decent quote in sight and thankfully brighter thinkers and better writers like our own E P Thompson had the gumption to argue against this "poverty of theory". In another sense the whole deck of cards came crashing down when Monsieur Althusser decided to kill Madame Althusser by strangling her, while Lacan's works have since been described as a "incoherent system of pseudo-scientific gibberish," and the equally controversial Noam Chomsky described him as an "amusing charlatan". This may or may not be a useful description of Slavoj Zizek who works in the traditions of Mr Lacan albeit with a sense of humour. Some of you may have seen him recently on Newsnight with his manic arm movements, ill fitting clothes, wayward hair, strange lisp and a mind that can draw upon anything from Marx to Mickey Mouse. Read more ›
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Career changing... 15 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are few books that I have read which, on reading them, have made me reconsider what I know and how I frame my epistemological position in research. However, Slavoj Zizek's Living in End Times did exactly that when I picked it up. I found it an engaging read which balances pinpoint psychoanalysis and reference to Lacanian theory with bold statements about the current crisis which the world faces. Completely eye opening...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good, and some new world, speculation
Some very weak theory but in some instances a good attempt to rationalise current trends. There is a lot of beating about the bush.
Published 4 months ago by Christopher Griffin
3.0 out of 5 stars A typical Žižek book
He rambles on entertainingly for hundreds of pages - all very readable and thought provoking stuff, of course - but when you get to the end you still have no idea what point he was... Read more
Published 4 months ago by alfa_brk
1.0 out of 5 stars Jabberwocky
There used to be a comic character on British television in the 1960s called Professor Stanley Unwin who in response to questions often fooled people into thinking he was talking... Read more
Published 12 months ago by wiseprotector
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than the sum of its parts
It was said of the 1960s TV series "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" that if you didn't appreciate the last joke, never mind; there would be another one along in a few seconds. Read more
Published on 4 May 2012 by John Fletcher
3.0 out of 5 stars A collage of macro and micro insights coming unstuck
Zizek is a man who sees. He has an instinct that the pall of foreboding which hangs over western life is a bereavement waiting to happen or which has already occurred but has not... Read more
Published on 2 April 2012 by Erik Pattison
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosohy turned prophecy
How does he do it? Using the Fritzl case as a cipher for the worst exigencies of paternalistic capitalism, Zizek unrolls his deftly-woven carpet in the middle of the bazaar to... Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by TheMrs
4.0 out of 5 stars Celestial Cheese Sandwich
1)Nothing is better than eternal happiness

2) A cheese sandwich is better than nothing

3) therefore a cheese sandwich is better than eternal happiness. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2011 by Mr. David R. Portus
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not a book about doomsday, but pretty close!
"Living in the end times" is heavy stuff, but easy to read and rather entertaining at times. Zizek knows exactly what he is doing with a book like this, namely to inform us about... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2010 by Janingar Stangeland
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse at the Gates
Unfortunatley, i don't have the time to finish this review but i hope what follows will give a flavour of how the book works. Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2010 by NickWilkes
1.0 out of 5 stars zizek returns with more philosophical onanism.
Like a Wall St derivatives 'genius' Zizek is a trader of junk philosophy. An amalgamator of small-print synthetic abstractions which few people would want to read nor admit to not... Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2010 by J. L. Papworth
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