Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lippitt, John. "Hegel and the Chicken Suit." TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION March 31, 2008.

Zupancic, Alenka. The Odd One In: on Comedy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008. This book, by one of the three Slovenian philosophers central to the Lacan-inspired Ljubljana school of psychoanalysis, appears in a series called "Short Circuits". The other two - Slavoj Zizek and Mladen Dolar - are liberally cited, and the former contributes a foreword to the series in which he explains its name. A short circuit "occurs when there is a faulty connection in the network - faulty . . . from the standpoint of the network's smooth functioning". This makes short-circuiting "one of the best metaphors for a critical reading". By approaching various areas of inquiry from a Lacanian standpoint, we are told, we make them readable in a "totally new" and "disturbing" way. But the other, unmentioned, possibility is that a short circuit might plunge the reader into darkness, making it difficult to find one's way around. Such is the case, I fear, in several parts of this book. The reader relatively unfamiliar with concepts such as the Real and the Symbolic in their Lacanian-Zizekian modes isn't given much of a torch. . . . Read the whole review here:

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