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The Sublime Object of Ideology (Phronesis (Paperback))

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  2,747 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
In this provocative book, Slavoj Zizek takes a look at the question of human agency in a postmodern world. From the sinking of the Titanic to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, from the operas of Wagner to science fiction, from Alien to the Jewish joke, Zizek’s acute analyses explore the ideological fantasies of wholeness and exclusion that make up human society.

Linking key psychoan
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by navayana (first published 1989)
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Dec 14, 2012 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have no business reviewing this book- I have not the background in theory nor the knowledge of the history or methods of philosophical discourse or Lacanian psychoanalysis nor even a strong enough grasp on the concepts and terminologies to adequately say anything enlightening about The Sublime Object of Ideology. To do so adequately and thoroughly I think might require me to write a book called On Žižek’s Sublime Object Of Ideology, which of course would be ridiculous and widely discredited. S
The Awdude
Feb 28, 2011 The Awdude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zizek's most revolutionary message, I think, is also probably his simplest: the subject must take responsibility for his own subjectivity. This is a message nobody wants to hear. Especially not today, when the drink of choice is postmodern skepticism: "I am aware of what I am doing but I do it anyway." Zizek takes aim at the post-structuralist, the postmodernist, the post-whateverist, the empty Foucauldian fad, the politically correct, the practicing non-believer, the all-too-comfortable victim, ...more
Dec 12, 2013 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
My word. My eyes bled. My brain thumped against the inside of my skull. I took long baths with it. I contemplated its murder. If I just drop this in the bath... This isn't a chap who wants you to argue with him. He's not one of those, "Let me be as clear as possible here" type chaps. No, he's a monstrous show off. He splices together the ideas of Marx and Lacan using the Hegelian dialectic. Why? Because he can? Or is it like he says, to shed mutual light on both - and of course - on the what of ...more
Read the first three chapters. So dense, but so many "aha!" moments on the way through. Zizek combines Marxist commodity and ideology theory with Lacanian psychoanalytics to suggest that identity, ideology, and the self all necessarily depend upon an inaccessible excess, a "kernel of the Real" that we cannot and indeed should not grasp in the symbolic order. The point is consequently not one of understanding the truth that ideology hides, or of lifting the dream content to the latent meaning bel ...more
I cannot write to the impact that Slavoj Žižek's The Sublime Object of Ideology has had upon Lacanian Psychoanalyis or Marxist Criticism. I cannot even lie enough to tell you, dear reader, that I understood the majority of this text. But I do know that of what I understood, I thoroughly enjoyed and gathered not only a new perception of the world, but the terminology with which to envision it.

Before remarking that Žižek's writing is "____" or that Žižek's interpretation of the Lacanian "____" is
Apr 01, 2011 Camsalisbury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely Brilliant--I had the perfect aha moment, that beautiful instance where the parts snap into place and you begin to understand his theory from the inside--where you can anticipate what zizek will say next, being able to inhabit the system of thought he's working with.

I've been a quasi-fan of Zizek for a long time--agreeing with much of what he has to say but always looking at it from the outside. That is to say, his conclusions seemed incredibly incisive but I couldn't grasp exactly how
Karl Steel
Nov 30, 2010 Karl Steel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory
Odd to come at this after having already read a fair amount of Zizek (Parallax View, Desert of the Real, Violence, Enjoy Your Symptom!, Plague of Fantasies, chunks of Puppet and the Dwarf): everything new is old again. Key Zizekian concepts first (?) articulated here include interpassivity and the subject/object supposed to believe; the desire to abolish contradiction in a rational totality as fascist; antisemitism and jealousy over the unified pleasure of the other; and the other as subject sup ...more
Jeremy Allan
Jan 09, 2012 Jeremy Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy-etc
It's common knowledge that Zizek is frequently at his best while recounting jokes in order to illustrate a philosophical concept, and the dirtier the jokes the better.

What do I have to add to that? Well a belief that Zizek is simply at his best when he is writing. Lately he has been hitting the streets, giving interviews, talking to anyone who will listen—notably crowds at Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street protests—to his ideas on capitalism, ideology, and the way forward. His speeche
The Title of this book should've been -
"Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here"

Read the first ten pages then I realized that I had more important things to do. Having nails driven into my testicles would've been more fulfilling than reading this self-indulgent huckster. Unless you are getting a PH.D in Comparative Literature and you have two spare weeks to devote to this trash, move on. I guarantee that you'll be more confused after reading this, you'll probably have an anxiety attack, and you'll
Jan 22, 2017 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I don't know shit lmao" - Socrates
Killian Beck
Jul 17, 2014 Killian Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, marxism
On page 157, Žižek writes,
The punk imitating the sadomasochistic power ritual is not to be conceived as a case of the victim's identification with the aggressor. The message to the power structure is, on the contrary, the negation implied in the positive act of imitation: You are so powerful, but for all that, you are impotent. You cannot really hurt me! In this way the power structure is caught in the same trap. The more violent its reaction, the more it confirms its fundamental impotence

When I
Víctor Galán
Jul 30, 2015 Víctor Galán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En este ensayo el famoso filósofo Slavoj Zizek diserta sobre numerosos temas relacionados con Kant, Hegel, Marx, Lacan y en menor medida Foucault, Kafka, Hitchcock, Freud, etc.
La asombrosa capacidad de su autor para unir elementos aparentemente dispares entre sí parece confirmar al postestructuralismo como la corriente filosófica a seguir en el futuro, al menos en lo que se refiere con el enlazamiento de ideas entre el psicoanálisis, la filosofía política y la sociología.
No es un libro fácil de
May 14, 2012 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading one of Zizek's major works, I definitely enjoyed it. It really helps to have some knowledge of Lacanian psychoanalysis beforehand: first of all, so that you can have a greater understanding of some of the basic concepts he uses and the framework he's using them in and, second of all, so that you can distinguish when he's being Lacanian from when he's being Zizekian using Lacanian terminology. The same is true for his use of Hegel, making me wish that I had a greate ...more
Jared Colley
May 17, 2007 Jared Colley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anti-postmodernist, crazy people
One of Zizek's first major works. How does one classify this guy: philosopher, critic, genius, charlatan, enlightened, fascist, clown....? All these probably fit for him at some moment in his charged career as rockstar intellectual. This first work is more tame than his later stuff....In fact, I think I like this Zizek more than the later one. There is great discussion here of Politics, Philosophy, Ideology, Psychoanalysis, & Pop Culture, and it all seems to fit into a pretty consistent syst ...more
I don't find it as hard to read as other reviewers, nor do I find it as groundbreaking, but it is Žižek at his most coherent, I think. One other reviewer remarked that his message is simple and "revolutionary": the subject must take responsibility for his own subjectivity. Sure, it may be his message, but it surely isn't his idea and at the point of the publication of the book it is not revolutionary either if you have read any psychoanalysis or for that matter anything even remotely related to ...more
Chapter 2 was cool -- bits of Lacanian garble that I struggled to make sense of, but I loved the literary and real-world examples Zizek uses to make his points: Pride & Prejudice, Sci-Fi, Julius Caesar, the Titanic, et al. After I finished this reading I dreamt that I time-traveled into the future, which is to say it had an impact on me.

I like the idea that acceptance and necessity (change?) comes about through mis-recognition. I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars....
Peter Jana
What follows is part review and part reading notes as I try to think through the jargon and the complex ideas.

The Sublime Object of Ideology is Zizek’s first book translated into English and contains the core ideas that are found in much of his latter work. His analysis of ideology draws from Marx and Althusser, but his use of Lacanian psychoanalysis draws different conclusions. For Zizek, ideology does not mask a given reality; it creates reality through unconscious processes. “Behind the curt
Jan 11, 2017 Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These days, Slavoj Zizek is an object of commodity fetishism, the exact sort that he writes about so well. He’s a reactionary, more of a meme than a man, a factory for half-written books, recycled material, and uncooked ideas--albeit with kernels of brilliance. More to the point, his iconoclastic leftism can sometimes be indistinguishable from ultra-right wing nativism. Very frustrating man--or so I thought, until I read The Sublime Object of Ideology. This is his first book (and as every frustr ...more
Andrew Fairweather
As I see it, for Zizek, the question asked by the radicalized subject is not, "how may I destroy or remove myself from the falsehood, this shadow-play, I see around me?", but, "how have I, as a subject [not a *victim*], been playing into a symbolic order for which I have so much distaste? How may my subsequent actions be understood?"

Through a 'redoubled reflection' (more about that later...), the subject comes to realize that to recognize their place as a subject at odds with an inherited world
Emily Rosewater
Jun 26, 2016 Emily Rosewater rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Работа отличная, гармоничное совмещённое обращение к Гегелю и Лакану, но каждую главу следует поглощать залпом - можно немного растеряться, если сделать, скажем, 12тичасовой перерыв в середине или даже ближе к концу, к примеру, последней (6ой). Кто-то ругает Жижека за "позерство", но встречать ничего, подлежавшего бы этой "категории" - не приходилось.
Теперь по мгновениям (пунктам):
- ещё раз повторяя марксовское определение идеологии: "Sie wussen das nicht, aber sie tun es" - которое оказывает
Feb 20, 2017 Uldai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. Entertaining. Difficult. The more I read Lacan and Marx, the easier this book becomes to understand. It doesn't seem to get easy though. While I am not generally an adherent of the 'KISS' school of writing (difficult subjects = difficult texts), I can't help but feel that many ideas could have been expressed less circuitously. In my opinion, much of Žižek needs to be taken cum grano salis. Still, a rewarding read.
Pascal Christeller
Dec 13, 2016 Pascal Christeller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Lacan. I'm glad I read Lacan before reading this.
Moss Bioletti
Jan 14, 2017 Moss Bioletti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dense and confusing but worth a read if your up for a challenge.
Abraham Lewik
A decent tome, the dick joke at the end made it worth reading.
Zane Chleboun
Mar 24, 2015 Zane Chleboun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The difficulty in reading Zizek comes not with his ideas but with the structure of his writing (a colleague of mine told me that reading Zizek is like jumping into the deep end of a pool littered with sharks). In each chapter, every sub-section has to do with an almost completely separate idea, making it a challenge to piece together. Fortunately for me, I read this for a Continental Philosophy & Film group I'm in with two Philosophers who have already read the book, and dear lord did they h ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if I caught the full point of this work, but mostly Zizek seems to be talking about Hegel's movement from substance to subject and the corresponding concepts in Lacan's thought. I've never liked Lacan, and his bizarre diagrams and pseudo-mathematical terminology make an unavoidable appearance here. I suppose I understand a bit more of Lacan than I did before having read this, but I also get the sense that Zizek's reading of Lacan is its own beast (and a very generous reading, at tha ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Leonardo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-digital
"Según Zizek, el punto nodal (point de capiton) cuyo nombre genera la unidad de una formación discursiva -el objeto "a" de Lacan- no tiene ninguna identidad positiva propia: "lo buscamos en vano en la realidad positiva porque no tiene ninguna consistencia positiva,por que es sólo una objetivación de un vacío, de una discontinuidad abierta en la realidad por la emergencia del significante". No es a través de una abundancia de significados sino, por el contrario, a través de la presencia de un sig ...more
This is an extremely hard read. The Lacanian stuff is bad enough, but here Zizek really goes into Hegel's dialectics (who's books are famous for being nigh impossible reads). After reading Zizek's stab at Hegel I decided to delve into the work of von Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel... or more aptly the works of several modern philosophers that are well known for their comprehension of Hegel (e.g. Peter Singer). I soon discovered that Zizek's view of Hegel was completely different from the opinion ...more
Dec 14, 2013 Phillip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really challenging book because Zizek attempts to reconfigure theories of ideology derived from Marxist and Hegelian thought via Lacanian psychoanalysis, which is a tremendous undertaking. Essentially--from what I understand of the book--the thesis runs something like this: ideology derives from subjects acting ideologically regardless of any ironic distance/cynicism an individual may feel about the ideological action, but (like the symptom in psychoanalysis) the action can only be ide ...more
Gordon Marshall
Sep 19, 2009 Gordon Marshall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zizek goes all over the place, ropily tying together all manner of political speculation and off the cuff psychoanalyis. However, he is very good in his particulars and has a consummate grasp of the great thinkers of the modern age. He proposes things like making Palestine a home for all displaced peoples, which is fine, except he requires that they also give up their religions--which is also fine, in principle but, uh, try telling that to--well, you fill in the rest.

Ideology for Zizek is someth
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Slavoj Žižek is a Slovene sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic.

He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (then part of SFR Yugoslavia). He received a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and studied psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII with Jacques-Alain Miller and François Regnault. In 1990 he was a candidate with the party Liberal Democracy of Slovenia for P
More about Slavoj Žižek...

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