Zizek Discussion pt. 2-- Welcome to the Desert of the Real -- 05.26.03
1. About this Monday
2. More about Monday + Reading
3. Download Texts
1. About this Monday
What: Zizek Reading
When: Monday at 7:00 pmWhere: 16 Beaver Street, 5th floor
Who: (as always) all are welcome
This Monday night we will be continuing the discussions we started last week focusing on the first half of Slavoj Zizek's 'Welcome to the Desert of the Real'.
For those who did not get to make it, but were interested to come, hope to see you there!
Please note, the 7:00pm start time.
2. More about this Monday
The readings come from last year's series put out by Verso, in which Virllio, Zizek, and Baudrillard were each asked to relate to September 11. Rather than focus on the events themselves, each in some way locates the events within, as opposed to outside, a framework dynamics that have already been at play. In the Fall of last year, we looked at Virilio's text.
As we turn to Zizek's text, it should be noted that the 5 essays which comprise the book are a significantly expanded version of the original essay which carried the same title and was distributed accross the internet on Sept. 14. We suggest you read the text before attending, but you may still enjoy the discussion without having done so.
In our 9.11 series following September 11th (and subsequently October 7th), we invited different people to suggest texts, screenings/ events that would initiate different discussions and readings of the events, the responses, and the counter-responses. Negri and Hardt's Empire was a core text prior to and within those discussions.
Adding March 19th to the list of seminal dates may not change much in the trajectory of political and even cultural manifestations that we have been witness to and interested in discussing/analyzing/resisting/alterring/re-routing/...?.
But in the wake of business as usual at home and abroad (i.e., attacks on civil liberties, attacks on countries with particular geopolitical aims which grossly outreach their stated goals or ends) & the release of Matrix Reloaded (the original film being one of the Zizek's inspirations for the title of his original essay -- Welcome to the Desert of the Real) we thought it might be a nice time to read and discuss a text we have have cited for some time.
If you do not have the book, we suggest you either purchase it or if you have a restricted
budget you can download the text, all you need is Acrobat Reader.
Please note this text is for educational purposes only.
In the months after September 11, titles like 'The End of the Age of Irony' abound in our media. Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides. Zizek argues this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyses the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events.
About the Verso series:
Appearing on the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, these series of books from Verso present analyses of the United States, the media, and the events surrounding September 11 by Europe's most stimulating and provocative philosophers. Probing beneath the level of TV commentary, political and cultural orthodoxies, and 'rent-a-quote' punditry, Baudrillard, Virilio, and Zizek offer three highly original and readable accounts that serve as fascinating introductions to the direction of their respective projects, and as insightful critiques of the unfolding events. This series seeks to comprehend the philosophical meaning of September 11 and will leave untouched none of the prevailing views currently propagated.
3. Download texts
[please note: if you have any problems
downloading the texts, please contact us]
part 1 (714kb)
part 2 (874kb)
part 3 (1.03mb)
part 4 (927kb)