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Revolution at the Gates: Zizek on Lenin: The 1917 Writings

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The idea of a Lenin renaissance might well provoke an outburst of sarcastic laughter. Marx is OK, but Lenin? Doesn’t he stand for the big catastrophe which left its mark on the entire twentieth-century?

Lenin, however, deserves wider consideration than this, and his writings of 1917 are testament to a formidable political figure. They reveal his ability to grasp the signifi
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Paperback, 356 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by Verso (first published January 1st 2002)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  288 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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Paul Hansel
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Lenin stuff was interesting, but hard to understand if you don't have much context. Zizek stuff was fun, but touched on too many subjects and was not very clear. This is my first Zizek though, so, bad place to start. He demands intense focus and to really get at all of his references I would have to be read much more widely (mostly in Marx and Hegel). I thought the talk about 9/11 was good.
Ivan Pretorius
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are some great insights on contemporary culture and politics in this book, if you want to read Lenin's essays definitely the book for you , but if you are like me, and hoping that Zizek will offer some keen insight into Lenin, you'll be mostly disappointed.
MajinFox
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wstawione
OPINIA Z 20 MAJA 2010

Slavoj Žižek zaplusował sobie u mnie występem w filmie dokumentalnym pod tytułem "Žižek", tam właśnie poznałem jego podejście do rzeczywistości, filozofii, filmów i od cholery innych tematów. Ale nie mnogość zainteresowań sprawiła, że zacząłem go lubić, a sposób przekazywania swoich racji.

Slavoj Žižek do każdej rzeczy podchodzi filozoficznie. Sam uważa się za marksistę, jest komentatorem psychoanalityka Jacques'a Lacana. Jeśli sprawdzi się jego umiejętności, to można zauważy
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C
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a tough one to rate, as a nice Stalinist revisionist (kidding), I want people to read these writings by Lenin, therefore I feel it my duty to rate the book highly; but Christ almighty Zizek's afterword, which comprises 200 or so of the 350 pages, is insane, stupid, illiterate, belligerent, and inconsistent. Quoting Jesse, as I find myself doing more and more in these reviews, while reading the pages you get the feeling he's "locked himself in a room" just to "scream" until he faints. For ...more
Nic Don
May 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is a strange collection. It is part of the "Essential Zizek" series, but the listed author is Lenin. It presents several of Lenin's 1917 writings, with a brief Foreword and extended Afterword by Zizek. The foreword is just fine, and situates the context of the initial writings fairly well, though Zizek leans on a few early footnotes for most of the detail. The afterword, on the other hand, is classic Zizek: rambling, obscurantist, preachy, and oddly reliant on pop culture references. Moreov ...more
Yasmin
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the writings of Lenin better than I liked the author's afterword. Unfortunately the author's own opinion seemed to be rather all over the place and none of it seemed to be very fluid. I think he was criticing modern life...perhaps all of modern life, but to tell the truth I couldn't comprehend enough to actually finish his afterword. I really can't say it had anything to do with anything about Lenin, however, he may have got around to it later on...The possible end result could have be ...more
Franklin
Zizek goes on for pages about The Fight Club, and, like D&G, he totally gives away the ending! Perhaps this explains his key philosophical error of selecting as principle the separation between Subject's limited ability to know and the vastness of what cannot be known, and further internalizing that division within the Subject. Hence the rejection of totality and covert resurrection of Kant's thing-in-itself.

Also his reactionary denial of sexual harassment's reality.

Thomas Estabrook
Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
In addition to providing an interesting selection of Lenin's writings from a critical moment in history, this book provides a decent introduction to Zizek's philosophy (in a series of essays comprising almost half of the book). Zizek has a tendency to get caught up in various tangents and he sometimes verges on being incomprehensible, but overall he presents many interesting ideas and makes a good case for why Lenin is still relevant in the 21st century.
Nikolay
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the one hand, I really enjoyed the book, on the other - the language Žižek uses is so over-sophisticated that sometimes it was easier to bang my head against the wall than to understand what he means. What I liked, though, were his thoughts about stalinism, atheism, and sex. I've never met such a logical explanation of how violence is inherent in stalinism, the latter being still grand in its intention to create a radically new society.
Michael Mintz
The first 150 pages or so (which consisted of a selection of Lenin's writing between the two Russian revolutions of 1917) were very good. Žižek also provided useful notes which contextualized some of the letters and pamphlets Lenin wrote. However, the remainder of the book (a collection of essays by Žižek) unsurprisingly failed to meet Lenin's standard.
Alan
Jul 12, 2007 rated it liked it
zizek indicts the material capitalist world and advocates a return to lenin's revolution. he keeps it interesting by mixing in many allusions to movies like the matrix, fight club and speed and psychoanalytically relates it back to human relation to government.
James
The Lenin excerpts are all great. Zizek's analysis is, too. I dropped off a star because in the long afterword he seems to lose focus on Lenin and veer off into familiar Zizek territory (Lacanian analysis of modern movies etc), and while good, it dilutes the otherwise exemplary effort.
Megan
This book could have used a better proofreader.

There are some brilliant insights and commentary on contemporary culture and politics in this book, but as usual with Zizek you have to wade through quite a bit of aggrandizing name-dropping and unnecessary theoretical jargon.
Anna
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mniej niż połowa książki to listy Lenina, a cała reszta to przedmowa, wprowadzenie i posłowie (które zajmuje więcej niż same pisma z tytułu). O ile z listów Lenina można wyczytać jego poglądy polityczne, to około 300 stron to wariacja na temat nie wiadomo czego.
William West
Most of the Lenin pieces are available in English in other, older volumes.

Zizek's long intro/ afterwards is occasionally fascinating, but at the end I wasn't sure if it had amounted to a cohesive statement. That, however, may have been intenional on Zizek's part.
Trevor
Jan 01, 2017 added it
Uplifting in the maelstrom of the modern world
Dana
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lenin is a clear and forceful writer with a pretty inspiring dialectic, I'm a bit ashamed I haven't gotten to reading him before. Zizek's extensive rambling afterword is less important.
gieb
Oct 18, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
nduwe ebook-nya. masiyo ra diwoco.
Dave
Mar 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zizek, marxism
I liked this book, i felt discussing Lenin's theoritical jump from possibility to practice was interesting. Zizek's idea of taking a leap was nice to read.
Ecrit
May 14, 2011 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josefina Duran
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Im going to also read this book for my political science class.
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骆驼
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Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (1870-1924) - one of the leaders of the Bolshevik party since its formation in 1903. Led the Soviets to power in October, 1917. Elected to the head of the Soviet government until 1922, when he retired due to ill health.

Lenin, born in 1870, was committed to revolutionary struggle from an early age - his elder brother was hanged for the attempted assassination of Czar Alexande
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