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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually lucid and sustained, 31 Oct 2009
This review is from: Violence (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
This book is coherent and lucid. It focusses on the conventionally, comprehensibly political. There is a sustained line of argument which is refreshing given the often scattered, repetitive nature of some of Zizek's recent stuff. His thesis is relatively simple: that while the media waxes hysterical about sporadic and incomprehensible outbursts of graphic violence, whose very immediacy and excessiveness short-circuit sustained rational analysis, there is a constitutive and structural violence - principally economic - that sustains the operation of the developed world, and is simply more important. The introduction, in which he sets out his stall, is outstanding. There is a helpful epilogue which summarises the book as a whole and its argument, which is nice. Zizek clarifies his position more often than usual too, and this added sense of nuance and position considerably enriches the usual mixture of brilliant provocation and irony. There is relatively little jargon in it (relatively) and it is pleasingly concrete too, for those among us who like concrete. One comes away from Violence with a clear sense of what Zizek thinks about the way things are, as opposed to a panoply of dazzling apercus and a hodgepodge of abstruse theoretical speculation. Recommended, especially as a way in to Zizek, with a greater than usual emphasis on the political. What a pity he made a tit of himself on Newsnight.
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