Žižekian ‘Perversions’: The Lure of Antigone and the Fetishism of the Act

Yannis Stavrakakis

in The Lacanian Left

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619801
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672073 | DOI:
Žižekian ‘Perversions’: The Lure of Antigone and the Fetishism of the Act

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Zizek's thoughts on capitalism, ‘the radical act’, and the ethico-political example of Antigone, are often presented as integral parts of a Lacan-inspired radical political philosophy. Hence, the main theme examined in the third chapter is the relation between negativity (the negative ontology of Lacanian theory) and the more positive, utopian and heroic political attitude implied by Zizek. The central hypothesis explored is that in Zizek's recent work Lacanian negativity is ultimately disavowed and a positive politics of the act as miracle takes its place. Thus, the problem here is symmetrically opposite to the one associated with discourse theory (ch. 2) and analogous with the one encountered in the work of Castoriadis (ch. 1). We reach then a full circle in this theoretical exploration of the Lacanian Left. The question, of course, is whether the circle is vicious or not. Does such an orientation have a place within the Lacanian Left? How does it relate to Lacan's teaching and to Zizek's earlier work?

Keywords: Zizek; Act; Antigone; Perversion; Disavowal; Roth

Chapter.  17998 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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