June 10, 2012

Zizek on Zizek in the Guardian at more length than necessary but still, in part, amusing:

“For me, the idea of hell is the American type of parties. Or, when they ask me to give a talk, and they say something like, ‘After the talk there will just be a small reception’ – I know this is hell. This means all the frustrated idiots, who are not able to ask you a question at the end of the talk, come to you and, usually, they start: ‘Professor Žižek, I know you must be tired, but …’ Well, fuck you. If you know that I am tired, why are you asking me? I’m really more and more becoming Stalinist. Liberals always say about totalitarians that they like humanity, as such, but they have no empathy for concrete people, no? OK, that fits me perfectly. Humanity? Yes, it’s OK – some great talks, some great arts. Concrete people? No, 99% are boring idiots.”

Most of all, he can’t stand students. “Absolutely. I was shocked, for example, once, a student approached me in the US, when I was still teaching a class – which I will never do again – and he told me: ‘You know, professor, it interested me what you were saying yesterday, and I thought, I don’t know what my paper should be about. Could you please give me some more thoughts and then maybe some idea will pop up.’ Fuck him! Who I am to do that?”

Žižek has had to quit most of his teaching posts in Europe and America, to get away from these intolerable students. “I especially hate when they come to me with personal problems. My standard line is: ‘Look at me, look at my tics, don’t you see that I’m mad? How can you even think about asking a mad man like me to help you in personal problems, no?'”


  1. Daryl Scroggins on June 11th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    His name should be Heyokha.

    I guess everybody can find something to like in a man who hates everything. His views about students, for instance, have a real ring to them.

  2. SC on June 11th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    There’s more in that interview. Unfortunately, it’s all TMI–Zizek goes on about his sex life.

    I’ve dismissed Zizek for years…but…I just read his most recent book on God and religion, God and Pain (for work, not pleasure) and I found most of it interesting. I’m less interested in his political views and, as they say, I’d never walk through a revolving door with him.

  3. Daryl Scroggins on June 11th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    SC: I’ll have to read the work related to religion; I don’t really know much about Zizek beyond the attention-getting technique he has exploited. My impression is that he is a recycling of the Dada movement applied to a more fluid tradition. In my dreams I sometimes imagine a very grubby person (me, perhaps; not Zizek) trying to escape sewers in an endlessly upward direction. Maybe it’s history this person is trying to escape; but what does one head toward when even history disappears? We stop and look around, or we keep going. But merely going can quickly make a virtue of a train with no stops.

  4. SC on June 12th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    …he is a recycling of the Dada movement applied to a more fluid tradition…

    Hmmm. Zizek’s zinginess comes from Lacan. In a fashion, parts of Lacan are recycled Dada but…you can say that about about many things, say, the Colbert Show.

    I had lunch today with one of Zizek’s ex-publishers. We both screamed TMI when he mentioned this interview.

    This, for example:

    …Two years ago his [Zizek’s] front teeth came out. “My son knows I have a good friend; none of us is gay, just good friends. So when he saw me without teeth, he said: ‘I know why.’ My son! He was 10! You know what he told me? Think, associate, in the dirtiest way.” I think I can guess. “Yes! Sucking! He said my friend complained that my teeth were in the way.” Žižek roars with laughter, great gales of paternal pride.

    “And you know what was tragicomic? After he told me this, he said: ‘Father, did I tell this joke well?'”…