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Comradely Greetings: The Prison Letters of…
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Comradely Greetings: The Prison Letters of Nadya and Slavoj (2014)

by Slavoj Žižek, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Other authors: Ian Dreiblatt (Translator), Michel Eltchaninoff (Introduction)

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492362,117 (4.1)19
"We are the rebels asking for the storm, and believing that truth is only to be found in an endless search ... Two years of prison for Pussy Riot is our tribute to a destiny that gave us sharp ears, allowing us to sound the note A when everyone else is used to hearing G flat." In an extraordinary exchange of letters, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, imprisoned for taking part in Pussy Riot's anti-Putin performance, and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek discuss artistic subversion, political activism, and the future of democracy via the ideas of Hegel, Deleuze, Nietzsche, and even Laurie Anderson.  Two radicals, one in a Russian forced labor camp, the other writing to her from far outside its walls, show passionately - across linguistic and generational divides - that "there is still a common cause worth fighting for." Touching, erudite, and worldly, their correspondence unfolds with poetic urgency. In association with Philosophie Magazine.… (more)

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. . . a critical social theorist who is not able to enjoy advertisements should not be taken seriously. -- Žižek

Sometimes, inexplicably, a book finds you pitch perfect. Sometimes it simply floors you with sparse genius. Comradely Greetings was such an experience. Returning to work after holiday, each day brought more rain, more concerns, turbulent slumber: more or less, a return to the normal. Insert here a YouTube clip of Morpheus welcoming us to the Desert of the Real. This heightened exchange conjured thinking but it also shed necessary light on those who commit, to whom the political and human are not just theory or simply a posture. Ms. Tolokonnikova depicts her treatment and the conditions of her fellow prisoners in her forced labor sentence. Such is simply harrowing.

Nadya and Žižek discuss the ongoing revolution of capital and production, the Russian history of dissent and the idea of the Holy Fool, the guises by which protest is rendered empty and what possible form future protests can acquire. Mandela is eulogized. Ultimately Putin relased the Pussy Riot members to keep a straight face during the Olympics, then the Ukraine and Edward Snowden fogged up the mirror. As I type this, I cling to some optimism ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
The most enjoyable part about this short collection of correspondence between Slavoj Zizek and Nadya Tolokonnikova is her ability to not only keep up with but to expand upon Zizek's ideas and commentary. Not only this but Nadya comes through as a highly intelligent political philosopher and thinker in her own right. Her contributions are all the more extraordinary considering the oppression she faces in one of Russia's harshest prisons in the midst of the correspondence. It's certainly an eye-opening look at what is possible in Putin's Russia against all odds. ( )
2 vote twp77 | Jun 9, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Žižek, Slavojprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolokonnikova, Nadezhdamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dreiblatt, IanTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eltchaninoff, MichelIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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