Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sublime Object of Ideology (Phronesis (Paperback))” as Want to Read:
The Sublime Object of Ideology (Phronesis (Paperback))
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sublime Object of Ideology (Phronesis (Paperback))

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,383 ratings  ·  72 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sublime Object of Ideology (Phronesis, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sublime Object of Ideology (Phronesis

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

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
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
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
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
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
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
Karl Steel
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
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
Killian Beck
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
Jared Colley
May 17, 2007 Jared Colley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Surely one of the most entertaining works of nonfiction I have ever read. Zizek achieves the impossible: he makes me feel, in brief moments, like I actually understand Lacan and even more incredibly in even briefer moments he makes me feel like understanding Lacan is important.

The book is only ostensibly about ideology or even sublime objects, Zizek's work is actually focused on an imaginative Lacanian interpretation of Marx, Hegel, Adorno, Alfred Hitchcock films, dirty and or antisemitic jokes
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....
John Goodell
Zizek's style is eccentric and hard to follow. I was able to process fully about 20-30% of the content, and spent the majority of my time reading this book weeding out or struggling to grasp the other 70-80% of what Zizek was saying. With that said, the fruit of the labor is rewarding-Zizek is radical and novel, and never fails to dissapoint. At no point did I find this book dull.

His topics cover a wide range of things: from communism, totalitarianism and marxism to religious ideology, and how t
Oct 21, 2015 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference  ·  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
Gordon Marshall
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob Reutenauer
Zizek's first book. Very difficult to penetrate, much less enjoy, for dozens of pages at a time. But having read several of his later and more accessible works I remained committed to pushing on. Lacan and Hegel. Lacan and Hegel. Lacan and Hegel. It actually works.. which is to say I am now in a position to better understand these two essential ingredients in Zizek's oeuvre: Hegelian dialectics and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Now to get a grip on his approach to Marx and Christianity. Throw in Alfr ...more
Michael Meeuwis
Well, wasn't this fun? More, and better jokes than I was anticipating. I guess this is Zizek before it went to his head? As I was reading this, I kept thinking that I wished it could be rewritten in a non-academic form, without the (needlessly?) complicated language. The notion that the thing that you keep trying to solve in yourself--say, your repeated instigation of relationships with a certain type of problem person--might actually be the thing that you like seems like it could do quite well ...more
Jessica Zu
only read assigned chapters ... faking it is making it, the power of ideology lies NOT in knowing or not knowing but in doing; cynical ideology is how ideology works.
but i wonder how come Lacan always have the last word ...
David Williamson
A book with moments of real cutting insight. Zizek is a writer of exciting theory, he uses ideas and concepts that are attempts to readdress our perception of reality, to shake our metaphysical tree.

However, I found this, his first book, a little safe. Zizek generally disreagards the norm and 'what one does', he takes risks in writing from a perspective that attempts to push the reader out of his comfort zone, this book felt like reading Hegel himself, dull and a bit confusing, but with flashi
so far a really good look into post-marxist thought...
i've always had a love/hate relationship with socialism, mostly because i think the system is sound, but humanity is too deeply self serving to flourish in a collective based political system...
zizek compellingly analyzes this and other issues regarding marxism and ancillary marxist concepts...
i've just started it, only about 40 pages in, so i will be very interested to see where he goes with his analysis...
a word about clarity...
zizek is a c
bernard harcourt coleman
It's hard to rate a philosophical text in comparison to fictional texts. Therefore I feel that to rate this book as a read in itself is very short-sighted. I think Zizek's Sublime Object of Ideology is a brilliant philosophical text, highly original and, at times, thrilling to read. Dense it may be, as with most philosophy one finds oneself rereading certain sections and at the end of the book you know that you have not got the entire gist but enough to return and reacquaint and concrete his con ...more
Sarath MK
The most difficult book that i read till date.
This book is extremely paradoxical. Each page goes on twisting your brain to its limits and utter concentration was required to complete it. Its a difficult task to judge the book because i am not an expert in its domain.The book has revealed some fascinating ideas but at the same time it felt as the the author was comparing apples and oranges.
Overall its a good but difficult read.
Dani Schechtel
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Trying to find a book... 1 6 Jan 10, 2015 12:40PM  
  • Being and Event
  • Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left
  • For Marx
  • The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance
  • The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (Seminar of Jacques Lacan)
  • Specters of Marx
  • Difference and Repetition
  • The Culture Industry
  • Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud
  • History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics
  • Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit
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...

Share This Book

“Σε ένα σύμπαν όπου όλοι αναζητάμε το αληθινό πρόσωπο κάτω από το προσωπείο, ο καλύτερος τρόπος να παραπλανήσουμε είναι να φορέσουμε το προσωπείο της ίδιας της αλήθειας” 1 likes
More quotes…