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Zizek: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) Paperback – 19 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441180877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441180872
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.2 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 710,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Sean Sheehan has taught in London and in the Department of Extaramural Studies at the National University of Singapore.is now a full-time writer. He has written a number of books including Joyce's 'Ulysses': A Reader's Guide (2009).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MAH on 22 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was on my third Zizek book by the time this came out and it has been really helpful. I have not done in-depth reading of philosophy, Lacan or Marx, so I had a lot of catching up to do. Fortunately, this is a short book, it is well laid out and it gets to the nub of the key ideas that Zizek refers to. I find Zizek's work interesting but had no grounding in the social theory that I imagine most of his readers have some familiarity with. This guide has helped me greatly and I'm really pleased that it has been made.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm really perplexed by the positive reviews for this book. I am quite familiar with the work of Jacques Lacan, and it's because of this familiarity that I can appreciate just how poor the explanations are of his ideas in this book. They are put in a way that makes them largely incomprehensible. Anyone who was being honest and who read the author's description of Lacan would,in my opinion, have to say it was mostly unintelligible .It's explanations of Lacan and Hegel are really that poor (and if you want an example of a proper explanation of Lacan's work get a copy of Bruce Fink's book 'A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoaanlysis' or Lionel Bailly's 'Lacan'). These are two author's who know Lacan very well and are able to make his work perfectly intelligible. Sheehan doesn't know his subject and it comes through loud and clear in the extremely poor level of his explanations. And as to his chapter on German Idealism and Zizek I have to say that Sheehan really outdid himself for the most obscure verbosity and what could only be obfuscation because I don't believe anyone could write this poorly and not be aware of how much they're deviating from what's regarded as acceptable English. It is atrociously written. I'm giving the book one star because that's the least I can give it. The book is rubbish and so are the misleading positive reviews. Whatever literary ambitions this writer has he hasn't achieved the skill of plain writing:and plain writing is necessary if someone is going to give an adequate explanation of difficult/ambiguous concepts such are found in Zizek's writing. But if it was just the case that Sheehan wrote badly one could excuse him, it's the sheer lack of intelligibility in so many of his descriptions that really makes this book so bad.Read more ›
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By Anthelm VINE VOICE on 4 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great route into reading Slavoj Zizek's notoriously difficult writing, cutting to the conceptual heart of Zizek's thought in relation to a triumvirate of influences: Lacan, Hegel (and German Idealism) and Marx. Little previous knowledge is anticipated, and Sheehan's book leads directly into engagement with Zizek's work (the final chapter provides an overview of his writings, and offers helpful suggestions for navigating the terrain). Any work of this size will inevitably take shortcuts, but Sheehan avoids compromising on depth of penetration. On the whole this books is commendably lucid without being condescending. I found the chapter on Lacan to be more helpful than that on the German Idealists. Particularly useful in tandem with other introductions to Zizek's thought.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction 2 Dec. 2012
By peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have an interest in Lacan, and continental philosophy. I also have a graduate degree in biological sciences, and as such I have had little opportunity to familiarize myself with philosophical books while in college. I enjoy Zizek's somewhat exhausting writing but I could use a map and this book provides it. I found particularly helpful the chapter about German idealism, a school of thought that is as stimulating as hermetic to me, and that Zizek's jokes do not seem to make plainer.
I agree that the Lacan chapter is Zizek's Lacan mostly, but that's OK in the frame of this book. The chapter about Z and communism is also very good, and the recommended reading makes you wish for a life of pure intellectual pursuit. This book does what the title announces and it does it well. After dipping in Zizek's writing, this book helps to find some banks from where to observe the overflowing river of his words.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
best book on Jouissance, Death Drive - for Newby or OldHand 18 Mar. 2013
By Mounard le Fougueux - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
‎"Zizek: A guideline for the Perplexed" by Sean Sheehan 2012 Continuum - is a goddamn good book, on Zizek, Lacan, German Idealism and Marx. Much better then previous "dictionaries" and "encyclopedias". In my view this is the best book for the rank beginner. For the more experienced Zizek/Lacan reader, it will show how much you actually misunderstood these thinkers! Great description of Jouissance and Lacanian versus Freudian "death drive". I love this book!
Extremely poor level of explanation. 7 July 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm perplexed by the positive reviews this book receives. I am quite familiar with the work of Lacan, Hegel and Marx (the three main writers that the author claims make up the main contributing theories for Zizeks works and whose ideas the author focuses on) and it's because of this familiarity that I regard the level of explanation given in this book as extremely poor, in fact the author's attempt to explain Lacan's concepts makes Lacan's theoretical corpus sound largely like unintelligible drivel-it isn't, and anyone whose interested in reading a good intelligible account of Lacan should get a copy of Bruce Fink's 'A Clinical Introduction To Lacanian Psychoanalysis' or Lionel Bailly's book 'Lacan'. These two author's really know their subject and are able to make Lacan's ideas perfectly intelligible and comprehensible. As for the chapter on German Idealism all I can say is that it is largely incomprehensible . I really don't know how anyone could honestly regard this book as being anything but poorly written . The author's writing style is long winded with one run on,verbose and incoherent sentence after another. The level of explanation is so disgustingly poor if I could give this book less than one star I could. I believe the most likely explanation for the low quality of the book is that of a pretentious academic writing a book on a subject he's incompetent to write about and somehow finding a publisher desperate enough to publish it. The only good thing I can say about this book is that it's mercifully short-only 149 torturous pages-although that's long enough.
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