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The Sublime Object of Ideology (Essential Zizek) Paperback – 1 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; New Ed edition (1 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844673006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844673001
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation" New Yorker "The giant of Ljubljana provides the best intellectual high since Anti-Oedipus." The Village Voice "The Elvis of cultural theory." Chronicle of Higher Education "Unafraid of confrontation and with a near limitless grasp of pop symbolism" The Times "Zizek is a thinker who regards nothing as outside his field: the result is deeply interesting and provocative." Guardian "The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in many decades." Terry Eagleton "Zizek is one of the few living writers to combine theoretical rigor with compulsive readability." Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Slavoj Zizek is the maverick philosopher, author of over 30 books and acclaimed as the 'Elvis of cultural theory', is today's most controversial public intellectual.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rough Diamond TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this having been intrigued by Zizek's latest movie 'The Pervert's Guide to Ideology'. As a non-specialist and a non-academic, I have to say I found it a very challenging read. Zizek takes for granted that his audience will have a thorough and detailed understanding of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Lacan, Foucauld and Althusser. I don't, and as an occasional and dilettantish dabbler in philosophy and critical theory, I found myself having to backtrack and re-read passage after passage to grasp the thread of Zizek's thought.

I'm glad I persevered. Zizek's attempt to synthethise Freudian / Lacanian psychoanalysis with Marx's theories of commodity-values and capital is truly heroic in its ambition. By orchestrating arguments from both sides of the tracks, I think Zizek comes up with something genuinely original, and disturbing, about how ideology operates in (post-)modern Western society. In doing so, he give us some properly mind-boggling, perception-warping nuggets of insight. I should however warn any non-academic reader that they will need to fight hard for them, through many dense thickets of (for me at least) complex and difficult theory. If only it were a little easier to understand I might have given this the five stars it probably deserves!

Congratulations to Verso Books, not just for re-issuing this book at all, but for the exceptionally high quality of the printing and binding. This is a book that has been built to withstand multiple re-readings, and which looks and feels absolutely beautiful.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. Harman on 17 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Zizek's first book is a journey into the vacuum at the heart of ideology and 'the subject' himself. He reaches Hegel via a long journey exploring the thinking of Lacan - the Hegel that opposed Kant's idea of a more concrete, transcendant 'thing in itself' lying behind mere appearance. Hegel, rather, saw that behind appearance lies nothing other than our own subjectivity, a subjectivity which is based on an illusory, formal construct. Ideology itself is presented as another construct of this type, at the heart of which is the empty space of 'the real'. Zizek also presents Lacan's themes of 'che vuoi?', in which the limitations of ideology are seen in relation to human nature, and the psychoanalytic perpective on the 'symptom'. According to Lacan it was Marx who invented the symptom and, in the context of this book, can be seen as a motivation for ideological thought. Zizek is however more than just a barrow-boy for these 2 influential thinkers, and offers his own insights and a welcome entertainment value in the form of many references to works of art and cultural icons.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. AL-HILAL on 3 April 2010
Format: Paperback
this is one of the best books. I bought this book, and I also intend to translate it into arabic so that other people who do not spak english can read it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
What Zizek is saying that's true isn't particularly new and what he's saying that's new often enough isn't true or at least doesn't ring as necessarily true . Whenever I question Zizek readers about what they understood about what they read I get the distinct impression that they understood very little other than he's the in thing and very complicated. I started reading his first chapter 'How did Marx invent the symptom' and found it partially okay, although largely he's only repeating what Marx,Engels,Lenin and Gramsci have always said that peoples ideology is in what people do or what Marx terms 'life activity' and that their life activity leads their cognition of the world. But then he started to bring in Lacan with an example from a film called 'Another Country' and things started to get murky with his exclamations about peoples inner dynamics with no real explanation given. As an example of this is his claim that people can only communicate if there is a gap between the mask or social front they show tp others and what they actually do. And that if people don't have this gap for any length of time then this makes communication impossible with others and that this coincidence between the two is intolerable. Why ?, this in fact contradicts what he had previously been saying about Blaise Pascal's advice that if you want people to believe in a religious faith get them to act as if they do i.e. get their life activity to be consistent with the religion by following the rituals even if they don't believe and eventually they will believe. The problem for me isn't just that he's contradicting himself it's that he's making assertions without providing a real explanation for them. And on and on throughout the book.Read more ›
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0 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 30 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book. Now I would like reading the version for the Jews.
In this version WE would be the others and the Jews would be the centre of the world
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