Looking Awry

Slavoj Zizek. Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan Through Popular Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991.

My rating: ***

Zizek paraphrases and inverts de Quincey’s famous propositions concerning murder:

If a person renounces Stephen King, soon Hitchcock himself will appear to him dubious, and from here it is just a step to a disdain for psychoanalysis and to a snobbish refusal of Lacan. How many people have entered the way of perdition with some fleeting cynical remark on Stephen King, which at the time was of no great importance to them, and ended by treating Lacan as a phallocentric obscurantist! (p. viii)

I found this statement hilarious but instructive in relation to academic snobberies in relation to popular culture. To tell the truth I do renounce Stephen King, I do find Hitchcock dubious and Lacan is most certainly a phallocentric obscurantist. My trash and high culture interests lie elsewhere. I think this would work much better for me if I set up Foucault as the end point.

Let’s try it:

If a person renounces The Prisoner, soon George Orwell himself will appear to him dubious, and from here it is just a step to a disdain for genealogy and to a snobbish refusal of Foucault. How many people have entered the way of perdition with some fleeting cynical remark on The Prisoner, which at the time was of no great importance to them, and ended by treating Foucault as a nihilistic postmodernist!

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