Monday, August 02, 2010
Slavoj Žižek phantasizes about another understanding of being.
Perhaps the ultimate philosophical fantasy would be here the discovery of a manuscript in which Hegel, the systematician par excellence, develops a system of sexuality, of sexual practices contradicting, inverting, sublating each other, deducing all (straight and “perverse”) forms from the basic deadlock.

Along the same lines, one can imagine how newly discovered notes on sexuality by Heidegger might look. The essence of woman is sich anzustellen, to ex-pose oneself, sich Anzubieten, to propose/offer oneself: here I am, pick me up, catch me, take me. In contrast to this stance of provocative exposure, Herausforderung, a man is boastfully putting himself up, parading before woman’s eyes: his stance is that of Sichaufstellen, in the sense of Sichaufspielen, Sichbruesten. A man stellt sich auf, a woman stellt sich an. And, from here, one can imagine a Heideggerian erotic of disclosure/withdrawal: Being provokes us in its very disclosure, it provokes us through the withdrawal in the heart of its disclosure. The essence of Sichanstellen is the Sichanstellen of the essence itself, and the destiny of man is to screw things up, to fail in his attempt to respond properly to this provocative exposure. So why not take the risk of enacting Heidegger’s rhetorics of reversal (“the essence of truth is the truth of the essence itself,” and so on) also apropos the notion of Abort (toilet). The essence of abort is the Ab-Ort (dis-placing) of the essence itself. Along the same lines, the Er-Örterung (explaining, literally, locating at its proper place) of a poem is simultaneously its Ab-Örterung (flushing it down the toilet). And what about abortion itself? What if the essence of abortion (Ab-Treibung, Fehl-Geburt) is nothing ontic, but the abortiveness of the essence itself?
From "A Plea for a Return to Différance (with a Minor Pro Domo Sua)", Critical Inquiry, Volume 32, Number 2, Winter 2006.
Zizek specializes in producing intellectual porn of a type. It's sort of funny, but in another way, not. Take a classic Big Thinker, like Heidegger or Kant, and sex 'em up: like philosophical marketing. And his sex-spin is meant to move product in a sense. Heidegger's not likely to go over with many hipsters or hipsterettes in college town, without that spin.

Really, Heidegger's probably still popular not so much for any specific insight on Dasein or update of Aristotle, but precisely because of the biographical connotations. He was pals with nazis, eh? Intriguing, at least for many caucasians. Many humans dream of being in some form of the Waffen SS, really (as even Hegel's master-slave dialectic suggests). Not saying we should encourage that.

Zizek in a sense takes advantage of the...fascist elements of german thinking. It helps him sell books, or fill lectures, or score with flozies in some college town bistro.
I can go along with porn as a metaphor (repeated use of the good bits), and yes, Zizek knows how to work a crowd, but on the anarchist-fascist scale, I wouldn't place him politically on the fascist end;
stylistically, he does have those tendencies, but overall much more NKVD than SS.
Post a Comment

<< Home
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

Appropriation appropriates! Send your appropriations to enowning at gmail.com.

View mobile version