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Event: Philosophy in Transit by [Žižek, Slavoj]
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Event: Philosophy in Transit Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 213 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

His prose is irrepressible, sometimes bonkers but never boring (New Statesman)

About the Author

Slavoj Žižek is a Hegelian philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, and political activist. He is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and the author of numerous books on dialectical materialism, critique of ideology and art, including Less Than Nothing, Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce and, most recently, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 784 KB
  • Print Length: 213 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846146267
  • Publisher: Penguin (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EAA6QEA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,893 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Penguin’s Philosophy in Transit series, four leading philosophers have been tasked with discussing brand new ideas that challenge the reader to pause and contemplate the idea of transit. Using travel as a metaphor throughout, each of the stylish and thought-provoking Philosophy in Transit books is designed to allow readers to engage with brand new philosophical ideas relevant to the modern age. In Event, the second book in the series, Slavoj Zizek examines what an “event” really is and asks big questions about how things are connected and whether anything really qualifies as “new”.

According to Zizek, an event can run the gamut from an occurrence that shatters ordinary life to a radical political rupture, from a transformation of reality to a religious belief, and from the rise of a new art form to an intense experience like falling in love. As Zizek says, with such a myriad of definitions available, there is no choice but to take a risk and begin the journey towards understanding the concept of an “event”, a journey that Zizek likens to that undertaken by Elspeth McGillicuddy in Agatha Christie’s 4:50 from Paddington.

Elspeth McGillicuddy is the innocuous old lady friend of Miss Marple who happens to be glancing out of the train window at just the right time to see a murder committed. The whole thing happens in an instant and, her view having been obscured by the train window, no one except Miss Marple believes her. For Slavoj Zizek, the experience of Elspeth McGillicuddy is the very epitome of an “event” – “something shocking, out of joint, that appears all of a sudden and interrupts the usual flow of things.”

This is a nice, almost straightforward introduction to the subject matter of Event but things do rapidly become more complicated.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The work concludes with a diagnosis - which is just as much a pointless warning - that the history of progressive liberation is being erased from the historical record; our society is starting to think that the French Revolution and the twentieth century's aspirations and events never actually meant anything and therefore never really happened.

It also concludes with some remarks about the disappearance of the dignified and rational public space for argument and discussion; the private space of wierdnesses and perversity is slipping into the once honour-bound public market place, with people posting their private photographs - even of their sex life - onto on-line social sites, making comments (such as this one here) which can be as personal and wacky as possible - with no public rules and politenesses to govern them. This privatising of the public space is apparent in the world outside the internet - in our culture as a whole.

How can a society progress or argue or decide, if there is no responsible public space for events to happen on?

The question is fine by me. I agree that it is disastrous. But on a personal note, wouldn't it be a good thing if it were true that 'The Twentieth Century did not happen' in artistic matters, I mean painting. For me, there was no painting in that century; there wasn't much music, either.

We should probably start again - with something like a Western Buddhist culture. Zizek has a growing dislike of Buddhism and yoga. As far as I'm concerned, his dislike of meditative techniques is due to his preference for revolts and Marxism; but they won't achieve anything again in the West as they have done in the past.
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