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Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Parallax View is Slavoj Zizek's most substantial theoretical work to appear in many years; Zizek himself describes it as his magnum opus.
Parallax can be defined as the apparent displacement of an object, caused by a change in observational position. Zizek is interested in the "parallax gap" separating two points between which no synthesis or mediation is possible, lin The Parallax View is Slavoj Zizek's most substantial theoretical work to appear in many years; Zizek himself describes it as his magnum opus. Zizek is interested in the "parallax gap" separating two points between which no synthesis or mediation is possible, linked by an "impossible short circuit" of levels that can never meet.
From this consideration of parallax, Zizek begins a rehabilitation of dialectical materialism. Modes of parallax can be seen in different domains of today's theory, from the wave-particle duality in quantum physics to the parallax of the unconscious in Freudian psychoanalysis between interpretations of the formation of the unconscious and theories of drives.
In The Parallax View , Zizek, with his usual astonishing erudition, focuses on three main modes of parallax: the ontological difference, the ultimate parallax that conditions our very access to reality; the scientific parallax, the irreducible gap between the phenomenal experience of reality and its scientific explanation, which reaches its apogee in today's brain sciences according to which "nobody is home" in the skull, just stacks of brain meat--a condition Zizek calls "the unbearable lightness of being no one" ; and the political parallax, the social antagonism that allows for no common ground.
Between his discussions of these three modes, Zizek offers interludes that deal with more specific topics--including an ethical act in a novel by Henry James and anti-anti-Semitism. The Parallax View not only expands Zizek's Lacanian-Hegelian approach to new domains notably cognitive brain sciences but also provides the systematic exposition of the conceptual framework that underlies his entire work.
Philosophical and theological analysis, detailed readings of literature, cinema, and music coexist with lively anecdotes and obscene jokes. This is Zizek at the height of his powers, both as a writer and a thinker. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Short Circuits. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Parallax View , please sign up.
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Mar 17, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: psychoanalysis , critical-theory , philosophy , political-philosophy , continental , marxism , favorites.
In the documentary Zizek! This then allows us to delineate the conceptual trajectory of Zizek's career so far: from the Object, through Negativity, to the Subject, and finally, Parallax.
What justifies Zizek in claiming on the dust jack In the documentary Zizek! What justifies Zizek in claiming on the dust jacket that this is his "magnum opus"? If anything can legitimate this claim, it is that in this work Zizek finally lays claim to his distinctive ontology although Zizek would not claim its distinctiveness, he would claim that it is Hegel's ontology, albeit Hegel read in a Lacanian vein --the ontology of the barred S, the split-subject, the self-different One.
This ontology gathers together all the concepts of his intellectual trajectory: both subject and object are nothing more than pure self-relating negativity, and it is only through the shifts of parallax that allow us to discern the difference which is minimal.
This ontology has guided Zizek in an implicit fashion from the beginning, but it is only recently that Zizek has had develop it in an explicit fashion, to differentiate his position from that of his contemporaries'--most notably from Alain Badiou's mathematical ontology of pure multiplicity woven from the Void. In this book Zizek develops a new conceptual operator, that of the Parallax Gap, which takes its place alongside Zizek's other theoretical conceptual operators--the Vanishing Mediator, the Indivisible Remainder, the Minimal Difference, etc.
Zizek employs a curious and to some, frustrating methodology in elaborating his theoretical concepts; rather than articulating them in a concise theortical description, he merely puts them to work in example after example in different contexts. In this book Zizek runs through the usual gamut of intellectual domains in elaborating the notion of parallax gap: from german idealism to Christian theology, cognitive brain sciences to contemprorary politico-economic ideology.
The chapters on cognitive science--a field only recently taken up by Zizek--are particularly impressive. This methodology demands a peculiar sort of engagement from the reader, in that in order to really discern the theoretical stakes of Zizek's arguments, one has to read carefully and not get distracted by the innumerable references to popular culture, literature and cinema.
One must discern, under the continually variegated examples adduced to illustrate his claims, the theoretical tools at work. Anyone willing to give this book the exertion and discipline required, however will be amply rewarded. Although his other books contain specific engagements on various topics of cultural relevance, to understand the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of his engagement, this book is a must read.
Oct 13, Matthew rated it really liked it. Zizek reminds us, on nearly every page, that he's read Hegel. That much must be certain. I even assume he's read Hegel multiple times. Not only has Zizek read Hegel, but very few people have read Hegel other than Zizek. What they read instead was, probably, l'objet petit H , which is precisely Hegel's point anyway weren't you listening? Of cour Zizek reminds us, on nearly every page, that he's read Hegel. Of course, the average Hegel reader wouldn't know that -- Zizek, on the other hand, does.
I was told that this would be the most comfortable introduction into Zizek, but no, sorry, I don't know what he's talking about half the time. I almost do better when he doesn't define his terms. Anything Lacanian is expected to either be absorbed through context or through example, i. But at the present time, I'm not sympathetic to what my professor would call "sexy" Hegel, this nouveau Hegel that seems to be have been lifted wholecloth from the Hegel of yore.
On the other hand, I am sympathetic to what Zizek writes about and attributes to nouveau Hegel. Perhaps, as he is wont to say, Hegel wasn't Hegelian enough. Regardless, it's clear to me that the world still hasn't seen enough Hegel. Hegel is here, here to stay. So far i have understood 'bracketing' from Zizek as i had not yet. Because of bracketing, we can place a wedge in between attitudes and open up the space where production and circulation move, Zizek writes, "The basic Hegelian correction of Kant is thus that the three domains of reason theoretial, practical, aesthetic emerge through the shift in the subjects attitude that is through "bracketing": So far i have understood 'bracketing' from Zizek as i had not yet.
Because of bracketing, we can place a wedge in between attitudes and open up the space where production and circulation move, Zizek writes, "The basic Hegelian correction of Kant is thus that the three domains of reason theoretial, practical, aesthetic emerge through the shift in the subjects attitude that is through "bracketing": the object of science emerges through bracketing cognitive-theoretical concerns; and the aesthetic domain emerges through bracketing theoretical and moral concerns" p.
That is to say, we bring a productive attitude towards our work in these areas whether we mean to or not, albeit obtained by different kinds of correct reasoning. But the awareness of these differences, is a reification or rather is just an abstraction. Thus language and communication occurs in a space of an imagined a 'leap of faith' where the value of the terms being discussed are understood and accepted. We owe this to Kant. Kant would say the meaning is immanent in the terms of the words and is within basis of discussion just waiting to be emerged in the act of communicating, as an immanent unfolding.
Zizek takes another view based on his reading of Hegel and Marx. It is precisely these antinomies, or the contradictions in these attitudes of knowledge, theoretical, practical and aesthetic - of both writers and readers, that forms a more fragile state where value is both implicit in the words and is created in the act of communicating them, by bracketing our concerns vis-a-vis other concerns.
Within this space between concerns, or meaning-value a parallax is presented. Zizek says that due to this tension space, a temporary synthesis must occur here.
The tension between production and circulation of unclear terms - my add here is that of the parallax pp. Certain words like elite, assume a provisional place as a shared meaning in communication.
But really, because these meanings are of the parallax, originally from contradictory attitudes about elitism and modes of understanding elitism, a tension is produced in communicating them. For example, If we use the word elite or philosophy, why strive for its clear meaning if we already have it?
Aug 31, Andrew added it Shelves: theeeeeeory. This is my first foray into Zizek, and he claims this is his magnum opus. Admission 1: I've never read Lacan, and what I've encountered of his ideas has made me ask "really?
I find the idea of the "objet petit a" pretty interesting, so this might lead to some interesting Lacanian readings down the line. There's no real thesis statement, and that makes this book pretty frustrating in a lot of ways as well. However, Zizek relates This is my first foray into Zizek, and he claims this is his magnum opus. However, Zizek relates a lot of dense, turgid ideas to well-known pop culture memes, generating an accessible read I'm also impressed at Zizek's way of taking other scholars and simultaneously discrediting some of their ideas while building on others Badiou, Levinas, Deleuze, Negri, Adorno.
And I'm VERY impressed by his strong commitment to a humane, hopeful political rubric beyond the "anything goes! On the whole, a solid, worthwhile effort. Dec 25, Philip rated it really liked it. For me zizek is not Logic he is wholistic in his ADD. Dec 16, Justin rated it liked it.
A Visão em Paralaxe
The Parallax View