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Living in the End Times by Slavoj Zizek

Living in the End Times (edition 2011)

by Slavoj Zizek

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Title:Living in the End Times
Authors:Slavoj Zizek
Info:Verso (2011), Edition: Rev Upd, Paperback, 520 pages
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Living in the End Times by Slavoj Zizek



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I confess I haven't finished this book. I was fully determined to, but was unable to renew it at the library as someone else had it on hold. I hope they have better luck with it than I did.

It started off well. Zizek has a nice turn of phrase and goes at his subjects head on (whilst bringing in support from the flanks). At first he seemed to be writing with a clarity and wit that would make the book, if not easy going, than enjoyable, enlightening and mind expanding. However, by the end of the first section he had regressed into the sort of jargon- and reference-laden language and semiotic hair-splitting that - while I am sure is entirely valid and necessary within the field - can make reading works of philosophy so very hard for the layman.

I do plan to revisit the work; hopefully the rest of the book is more transparent than opaque - but in the mean time I think my non-fiction reading may stay in the more easily grasped realms of physics, biology and multi-dimensional mathematics. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
I think this book is entirely worth the read for it dares to unabashedly go places that other cultural and philosophical books dare to go - criticism and application. There is so much scope that is covered though that I feel that Zizek got lost in his thesis. His general structure remained consistent as a whole, but only on the grounds that one paid careful attention to the hermeneutical explication of the books progression. I am always astounded, though not always in accordance with, the "sideways reflections" of this philosopher. It is in this regard that he is worth every word. Unlike prior "dangerous" philosophers - Zizek doesn't confine himself to rear-view controversial evaluations of human discourse (e.g. Foucault and to some extent even Deleuze), but comes at it with a full frontal attack, using history as a source of criticism for contemporary issues rather than applying contemporary theory to historical issues in a retrospective way. Not to say that those methods aren't of great genius and value to 20th and 21st century thought, for it allows us to look around with new eyes - but only under the condition of a clear sky. Agree with him or not, Zizek is always a stimulating read that leaves much to be mulled over in its entirely unapologetic antagonism.

( )
  PhilSroka | Apr 12, 2016 |
I find the same problem with Zizek that I have with Jameson--wandering. Here, there are moments of dazzling, laser-like focus, but they only last for a handful of pages, then he wanders off again. Ultimately, a third of this book will be useful to people who want interesting ways to think about representations of apocalypse (the reason I wanted the book), a third of the book will be interesting to people who want to think about contemporary real world examples of communism (not in any way my interest), and a third of the book will be interesting to those who want discussion of how various philosophers can be read together and in opposition to one another (somewhat interesting to me). For me, the three different parts never melded, and that made the book a tough read. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
I ate the whole thing without a background in philosophy. I probably shouldn't have done that. I probably should not be writing a review at all, but I have to comment on the ride. I could have used more bathroom breaks, but the driver was very fussy about gas stations. He didn't want any of those places where you have to beg the man for that tiny washroom key tied to a 2 x 4. The end times are distrustful times, so the log of shame knows no bounds. This meant I had to hold my pee a lot.
He likes to pass trucks a little too close. Smokes like a euro. I think he's some kind of communist.
In order to keep myself from being kicked out of the car, I had to do some things I'm not proud of: find a copy of 'Kung-Fu Panda'; read a story by Kafka; talk to the taxman about his poetry.
That's what I get for hitch-hiking alone. ( )
1 vote dmarsh451 | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184467598X, Hardcover)

Zizek analyzes the end of the world at the hands of the “four riders of the apocalypse.”

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, Slavok 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.

After passing through this zero-point, we can begin to perceive the crisis as a chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong put it, “There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent.” Slavoj Zizek shows the cultural and political forms of these stages of ideological avoidance and political protest, from New Age obscurantism to violent religious fundamentalism. Concluding with a compelling argument for the return of a Marxian critique of political economy, Zizek also divines the wellsprings of a potentially communist culture—from literary utopias like Kafka’s community of mice to the collective of freak outcasts in the TV series Heroes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:09 -0400)

Analyzes the state of global capitalism in the face of drastic ecological crises and social divisions, and explains how Western society can cope with the end of global capitalism.

(summary from another edition)

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