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Download Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture (October Books) epub

by Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Žižek, a leading intellectual in the new social movements that are sweeping Eastern Europe, provides a virtuoso reading of Jacques Lacan. Žižek inverts current pedagogical strategies to explain the difficult philosophical underpinnings of the French theoretician and practician who revolutionized our view of psychoanalysis. He approaches Lacan through the motifs and works of contemporary popular culture, from Hitchcock's Vertigo to Stephen King's Pet Sematary, from McCullough's An Indecent Obsession to Romero's Return of the Living Dead―a strategy of "looking awry" that recalls the exhilarating and vital experience of Lacan.

Žižek discovers fundamental Lacanian categories the triad Imaginary/Symbolic/Real, the object small a, the opposition of drive and desire, the split subject―at work in horror fiction, in detective thrillers, in romances, in the mass media's perception of ecological crisis, and, above all, in Alfred Hitchcock's films. The playfulness of Žižek's text, however, is entirely different from that associated with the deconstructive approach made famous by Derrida. By clarifying what Lacan is saying as well as what he is not saying, Žižek is uniquely able to distinguish Lacan from the poststructuralists who so often claim him.

Download Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture (October Books) epub
ISBN: 026274015X
ISBN13: 978-0262740159
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Philosophy
Author: Slavoj Zizek
Language: English
Publisher: The MIT Press; Reprint edition (September 8, 1992)
Pages: 188 pages
ePUB size: 1976 kb
FB2 size: 1805 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 416
Other Formats: txt lit lrf mobi

I didn't give this book five stars because I didn't feel I knew Lacan much better after reading it. Granted, there were a few memorable moments of Lacanian interpretation, but now that I look back on it, they were only enlightening because of background information I had from better introductory texts. Fink's 'Clinical Introduction,' and 'Lacanian Subject,' are better for a base understanding of Lacan. Overall, I felt the book was worth the read, because it was Zizek after all.. I enjoyed a lot of the literature interpretations he included, as well as film analysis. Like other reviewers have commented, this is more Zizek in here than Lacan, and this was part of the reason I decided to read this. However, I felt the overall format of the book- divided by Lacanian theoretical points- did not help the reader's already difficult task of trying to keep track of Zizek's often scattered arguments.
Exactly as promised.
LOOKING AWRY, the title of slavoj zizek's introduction of jacques lacan, is also a method of indirectly approaching lacan's work through critiques of popular fiction and film theory of the films of alfred hitchcock and a few films by other directors who worked, for the most part, in film noir of black and white films.

comments on lacan's work are minimal within the body of zizek's text. the comments pertaining to lacan's work by zizek, function as signs pointing to the notes at the end of the book, and the notes pointing to lacan's writings. zizek's method does manage an introduction to the work of lacan.

in the final section of zizek's text, the political ideas pulled from lacan's writings, seem to belong more to zizek than lacan. remarks made about nationalism under technological advances and the resulting racism of pizza parlors and chinese take-outs correlated with sade and kant were written here before social media, 9-11, and buzz phrases including `post-racial' and `diversity'. our time, our now, might clarify, set right, if not prove to be right or wrong, these prophecies.

an excellent book for hitchcock fans or students who must read lacan, but equally an introduction to the work of slavoj zizek, who, from what the furious noise within the space surrounding him signifies, has gone on to sound off on much begun here by him.
I liked this book. I read this right after I read Sean Homer's "Jacques Lacan" from the Routledge Critical Thinkers Series. Homer's book properly initiated me into Lacan... I do not believe Zizek's book is a 'proper' introduction into Lacanian theory... it is great reading if you have already read a more measured introduction into Lacan. Bottom line: 'Looking Awry' isn't a great INTRODUCTION into Lacan....but if you are already introduced into Lacan, then "Looking Awry" is good reading.
That's what I wanted, at least: An illustration of the key Lacanian concepts. What Zizek'bokk gives you, in fact, is the key to reading Lacan.
Lacan's seminar is an unreadable text - if that's your first/second/third etc. time. Lacan, you see, does not make conclusions. To illustrate that:
- You are writing a paper on, let's say, "Gaze". You would like to know what's Lacan's take on gaze. You open "On Gaze as Object a" chapter from "Four Fundamentals".
- you read a paragraph. You do not quite understand what you have read.
- you read the following paragraph. Now, understanding this one is even more difficult, because Lacan is assuming that you have fully understood the previous one. Ok, third paragragh ... Should I continue?
- You either think that this book is non-sense or that you are stupid. Both conclusions are wrong.
As soon as you get the background - Lacan's non-sense makes perfect sense. Zizek give this background in a highly entertaining manner (his writing is a jewel - keeps you thinking "If only I could write like that!"). I am currently doing a PhD in literature, and I have to go through plenty of academic rubbish - dry and actually, useless critical books, that make use of Lacan, Foucault and others to get published and never be read. Zizec is a breath of fresh air.
Please believe me - do not give up on Lacan, do not call him bad names, (like "idiotic nonsense, nobody ever understood him, they were all pretending to understand him because they were afraid to look stupid in the 60s") - before you read Zizec.
I am struck by the negative reviews that caution readers: "Zizek is not an orthodox Lacanian! Read him only if you have already understood Lacan!" This is, of course, the typically cultish--really Catholic--approach to Lacan that treats him as a holy text, pre-supposes a series of high priests who have been properly anoited and through whom one must receive the officially sanctioned interpretation. I don't read Zizek for Lacan--I read him for Zizek, and I encourage others to do likewise. *Looking Awry* and *Enjoy Your Symptom* are prehaps the easiest approaches to Zizek and his brand of cultural criticism, as they rely almost entirely on popular culture, especially film. Zizek's perverse (and often dirty) sense of humor and tendency to read against the grain at all costs are apparent on nearly every page, which makes this a very engaging read, indeed. Intellectually, there are some problems with his approach, of course--but Zizek's voice is such a refreshing change of pace, and his constant turn to a reading that you thought was impossible (but turns out to be preversely appealing) makes them all worthwhile.
This isn't an introduction at all. If you already know about Lacan and you want to look more deeply at his concepts with illustrations of them drawn from literature and film then it's okay. If not then forget it. Lacanian concepts are complex and you really have to have mastered them to write a good book about them on an introductory level. Lionel Bailly's 'Lacan' is a superb introduction far better than anything Zizek is capable of turning out. 'Looking Awry' is the icing on the cake but if you haven't already got the cake then it's all icing and no cake.