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Higgins
11-05-2008, 07:29 PM
Fink (in this source anyway) has the Father turn up to interrupt the
unconscious/real world of the demon, the mother and the child:

http://massthink.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/the-lacanian-subject-according-to-fink-another-bar-the-primordial-signifier-phallic-function/?referer=sphere_related_content/

What does this suggest about representing intense moments in a narrative? Are they complex in symbolic terms or just scary in
terms of the Lacanian Real?

Or (and I find this dubious) can we have our cultural stuff any way we want it (to adopt Zizek's method in postulating a "Desert of the Real") and hope readers and views are not too confused about how intense or scary the representation of primoridal stuff is?

Higgins
11-05-2008, 07:42 PM
Or (and I find this dubious) can we have our cultural stuff any way we want it (to adopt Zizek's method in postulating a "Desert of the Real") and hope readers and views are not too confused about how intense or scary the representation of primoridal stuff is?

As in (Back to a dubious analysis of the sources of intense experience via some negotiation with a communal real -- very unlikely I think):

http://www.egs.edu/faculty/zizek/zizek-welcome-to-the-desert-of-the-real-1.html

Dawnstorm
11-06-2008, 12:21 PM
Reading Derrida was hard but rewarding. Reading Lacan was...

Well, let's say Freud collided with Derrida, which created a black hole that sucked away all meaning. I can't make head nor tail of Lacan. Until I do, there's little point to try to understand these links.

This is what I get out of them so far: There's no first source of meaning, but while we're at it, we might as well call it Dad, because he's not taking care of you. You're your own mom (or nanny if you will), which is nice, but you're not your father which isn't. Hence Oedipus. There are two kinds of people: me, and not me, or Mom and Dad. There are two kinds of situations: mom-situations (hurray), and dad-situations (boo).

Or for short: at one time we learn that life can be a bitch, or for some reason more accurately, a dude, which is the exact same time we realise that not all is ourselves.

Which means I didn't understand it at all. Which means I wouldn't have normally replied, but since nobody else did...

Higgins
11-06-2008, 05:38 PM
Reading Derrida was hard but rewarding. Reading Lacan was...

Well, let's say Freud collided with Derrida, which created a black hole that sucked away all meaning. I can't make head nor tail of Lacan. Until I do, there's little point to try to understand these links.

This is what I get out of them so far: There's no first source of meaning, but while we're at it, we might as well call it Dad, because he's not taking care of you. You're your own mom (or nanny if you will), which is nice, but you're not your father which isn't. Hence Oedipus. There are two kinds of people: me, and not me, or Mom and Dad. There are two kinds of situations: mom-situations (hurray), and dad-situations (boo).

Or for short: at one time we learn that life can be a bitch, or for some reason more accurately, a dude, which is the exact same time we realise that not all is ourselves.

Which means I didn't understand it at all. Which means I wouldn't have normally replied, but since nobody else did...

I wouldn't have brought it up except that Zizek (kind of a pop Lacanian "culture-critic") is being cited as some sort of worthwhile soothsayer in the political subforum...ie on the supposed topic of the supposed "desert of the real" (which is just some mumbo-jumbo from the first Matrix movie).

Anyway...if you look into what Zizek is complaining about (he is always complaining about TV basically -- what else can a culture-critic do?) -- a lot of it has to do with how intense experiences are represented.

You know...the mere fact that some kind of emotional intensity can be "objectively" transmitted (ie I can assemble a story that can potentially have a pretty strong emotional effect on somebody who knows nothing about me) suggests both the power of the imaginary/symbolic structures that Lacan keeps trying to describe and that some kind of utterly personal story is never the whole story.

Oh and as for figuring out what Lacan thought he was talking about...I find that reading the earlier texts of his and Bruce Fink to be pretty helpful:

http://www.lacan.com/bibliographfi.htm

RG570
11-07-2008, 08:48 PM
I think it depends entirely on the type of situation trying to be narrated. I have used ISR as a tool for a lot of my writing (am the biggest Zizek fanboy), and have been so far partial to the traumatic tear that exposes the Real.

I might want to say that all intense emotional experience is ultimately a confrontation with the Real, but I'm not learned enough in this area yet to really make any such claim.

Funny, I've never really thought of Zizek as a cultural critic, but a philosopher, communist, and psychoanalyst . . . I think it's a shame people get caught up in his gratuitous use of movie references. That's not what he's about.

Higgins
11-07-2008, 09:19 PM
Funny, I've never really thought of Zizek as a cultural critic, but a philosopher, communist, and psychoanalyst . . . I think it's a shame people get caught up in his gratuitous use of movie references. That's not what he's about.

Perhaps my view of Zizek has been skewed by the contexts in which he presents his philosophy, but anyone who 'presents' the Pervert's Guide to Cinema is being more than just gratuitious with his movie references.
I don't know what he is about, but he seems to bear roughly the same relation to Lacan's work as Joseph Campbell does to folklore studies...ie a very successful popularizer.


http://www.thepervertsguide.com/

RG570
11-07-2008, 09:48 PM
I think you're right actually. I didn't think before I typed. I tend to do that in the mornings.

What I meant was that I had always viewed the movie stuff as strictly secondary, an affectation or a tool, for his real philosophical work. It is successful, sure, in that it attracts attention from people who in the end have no intention of reading about the failures of capitalism and the politics of enjoyment, but just want to read about movies.

Jerry Cornelius
03-17-2009, 12:40 AM
Please, "cultural-critic" rather than "culture-critic." I know I'm being a dick but you make it sound like he's a luddite or something! :p

The appeal of Zizek is his range, the fact he's entertaining and, yes, he is a populariser. I would disagree he's gratuitous with his movie references: that's simply his method of popularising ideas like Lacan's.

As a philosopher, I do rate him. He provides a fresh championing of what have become seen to be antiquated ideas, with the aim of keeping the dialectic ticking over.

Higgins
03-17-2009, 04:43 PM
Please, "cultural-critic" rather than "culture-critic." I know I'm being a dick but you make it sound like he's a luddite or something! :p

The appeal of Zizek is his range, the fact he's entertaining and, yes, he is a populariser. I would disagree he's gratuitous with his movie references: that's simply his method of popularising ideas like Lacan's.

As a philosopher, I do rate him. He provides a fresh championing of what have become seen to be antiquated ideas, with the aim of keeping the dialectic ticking over.

Don't his points amount to something more Luddite than "cultural"? He doesn't claim to critique culture in terms of any cultural norms, but in terms of something more primordial. An elementry mistake I would say and not one that any other Lacanians (eg. Bruce Fink or J. Lacan ) usually make. I mean, it's okay that he is a Marxist -- some of my best friends are Marxists -- but he seems to have mistaken popularization for a reductive methodology rather than an aim.

Jerry Cornelius
03-18-2009, 10:40 PM
It's simply a semantic preference. No, he's certainly not a Luddite, as he has a preferred society. It's simply that our current liberal democracy paradigm is one of his targets. I've never read him as being dismissive of the concept of culture, being a Marxist neither confirms or precludes him from this, of course.


he seems to have mistaken popularization for a reductive methodology rather than an aim.

Interesting. Would you care to elucidate?

Higgins
03-19-2009, 12:30 AM
It's simply a semantic preference. No, he's certainly not a Luddite, as he has a preferred society. It's simply that our current liberal democracy paradigm is one of his targets. I've never read him as being dismissive of the concept of culture, being a Marxist neither confirms or precludes him from this, of course.



Interesting. Would you care to elucidate?

Here's a tid-bit from: http://www.lacan.com/zizcritintro.htm.

I suppose I must go along with the "shifting up a gear in terms of rhetorical abuse" mentioned below. What is striking about Zizek is that he happily turns everything into the same dimensionless primordial ooze of trauma gone wrong as exemplified in "culture". His "culture" isn't anyone's culture, it's just what happens to be easily accessible. Even Feuerbach's reductive "You are what you eat" did not start by specifying that this eating had to be the eating of whatever was stuck in front of you and you had to act happy about it at the same time. Zizek seems to suggest that human freedom is only the freedom to undergo whatever happens to come your way (as long as it is fatal or cinematic).
Anyway...maybe that's just the effect of popularization (I mean the fantastic level of reductionism in Zizek), but in any case a more meticulous or less metacynical (see below) person might suggest there is something more to things than the popularization of popular culture. I mean surely that's the most minimal possible realm: where reductive, mininalist popularization explains popular culture in a reductive minimalist way. One finds oneself strongly suspecting that there may be other more dynamic things going on in the world.


Shifting up a gear in rhetorical abuse, Teresa Ebert points out that certain forms of subjectivity fit all-too-well with the ideological requirements of globalizing capitalism, with cynicism operating nowadays as a 'logic of a pragmatism that opportunistically deploys ideas and beliefs in order to get things done within the existing structures of access and privilege'.<A href="http://www.lacan.com/zizcritintro.htm#23">23 Zizek's theoretical work is seen by her as fitting all too neatly into this ideological universe as a form of 'metacynicism', 'a cynicism that protects itself from being known as cynical by theorizing the cynical'.<A href="http://www.lacan.com/zizcritintro.htm#24">24 As we have already seen, Zizek does indeed see traditional Marxism as out-of-date, no longer applicable to new conditions of global capitalism, and this does lead him back to Hegel, with Lacan offering a theory of 'difference' as a substitute for a genuinely Marxist thematic of class struggle.

Ebert is right on track, then, when she claims that 'Zizek mimes Marx in an effort to turn a materialist ideology critique upside down into a Hegelian idealism and dissolves class struggle into the symbolic surplus of the Lacanian Real'.<A href="http://www.lacan.com/zizcritintro.htm#25">25 A similar point is made by Peter McLaren when he comments that that Zizek's 'Lacanian Marxism' rather a misnomer if Ebert and McLaren are right 'proposes in some instances a fascinating yet not unproblematic Hegelian re-reversal of Marxism'.<A href="http://www.lacan.com/zizcritintro.htm#26">26 Zizek's specifications for the nature of subjectivity already pre-empt any analysis that might be carried out, or any prospect of moving beyond interpreting the world to changing it.