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Žižek as Ur-Bloggist: Perfecting the Associative Theoretical Multimedium

The First Bloggist, Žižek as Father

Adam Kotsko has a wonderful line about Žižek, that his writing can only be understand as a theoretical-asethetic pre-posit of the Blog:

I think that Zizek has something about how Flaubert can only be understood retrospectively, because he was trying to do film by means of the novel — similarly, perhaps Zizek’s writing is anticipating not (as he has somewhere said) the CD-ROM, but rather the blog.

Aside from the fantastic inversion of Flaubert to cinema, and thus Žižek to populist journalism – talk about the return of the Bourgeoisie, first as parody, then as tragedy or at least made serious pop – this calls to mind Truman Capote’s line about Jack Kerouak, “That’s not writing, that’s typewriting.”

Žižek as the first, Primordial blogger, he who could not then blog because the techno-social space was yet invented. But how else could we have heard about the theories of someone from a country which no map knew, sporting unpronouncible consonants and knowing marks in his name, pealing off counter-intuitional brilliances on otherwise abandoned Hegel and Lacan, DJing in Hitchcock and the Terminator? Is not the Nom du Père of us bloggists…Žižek? The man who enjoys.

As proof of this, imagine how horrible it would be if Žižek actually blogged? It would be as if Flaubert made talkies. Does this mean that the blog world must track down and consume our father, ripping him into pieces like so many post-Oedipal and rabid daughters, maenads tearing at their Orpheus near a media river, or must it simply meet him at the crossroads and refuse to step aside?

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14 responses to “Žižek as Ur-Bloggist: Perfecting the Associative Theoretical Multimedium

  1. bryank December 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    That last paragraph is awesome. By the way, the closest thing to “Zizek the blogger” you’ll find are his “posts” (obviously submitted by whoever is running the site) over at Lacan.com.

    • kvond December 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

      I’ve never followed over at Lacan.com, interesting. Perhaps the super-luminary is gradually coming down to the sublunar world he prefigured. I say this as an unconscious acolyte of course.

      • bryank December 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm

        Despite the horrible design (I actually applied at one point for their web design position… they never followed up and it appears that they never hired anyone), you can actually find nearly entire copies of Zizek’s books posted in a quasi-“blog” format (as a series of related posts) for free—a fairly generous service in my opinion.

      • kvond December 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

        Ah. I met Josephine Ayerza twice, back in the day. She wanted to know if I understood what the big Lacanian matheme on my back REALLY meant.

        I don’t know what you mean by the site not being designed, I am utterly bedazzled when I visit it. Within about 20 seconds I find myself having a traumatic experience of the REAL (nevermind trying to find Zizeks’ texts, and yes, that is generous).

        Interesting that Zizek’s books are posted in blog form, further evidence of Adam’s thesis, perhaps.

  2. Paul John Ennis December 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    There is also the rather strange zizekspeaks twitter account which people tend to treat as if it was him knowing that in all likelihood it is just some techo-savvy gruduate student.

  3. kvond December 9, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    My goodness, more evidence. Just as God’s prophets are linked, disassociatively to their source, Zizek ventriloquizes through a grad-student he doesn’t even know via twitter. This Zizek/blog connection is becoming more interesting all the time.

    • chris c January 11, 2010 at 6:16 am

      It’s not that interesting. What’s great is all the free talks you can listen to from him. (egsvideo and stuff posted on youtube from various universities he visits etc)

  4. Carl December 9, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Hm, what’s this stealing my thunder when I already said (but did not demonstrate, it’s blogging after all) that Gramsci was the original blogger. Except it was St. Paul….

    • kvond December 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm

      Yes, its one thing to claim, but it was not convincing. Zizek crushes Gramsci as an Ur-blogger, father of us all, if only on the order of being He-who-enjoys. In a certain sense when you tried to apply Gramsci to blogging everything fell apart. Whereas in the philosophy world, everyone is a Zizek, just as everyone is a Christ.

      One can always blame Adam as well, which I firmly do.

      Paul as blogger. I like crediting Paul with all kinds of things, but I can’t stick him with this. Blogging isn’t just open letter writing. Blogging is something like defying the values of institutional knowledge through media appropriation, it must be designed for bestowed “readers” but also for searchers and glimpsers.

  5. Paul John Ennis December 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    The first twitter-like post is clearly Plato’s Seventh Letter. Nobody is really sure if it is Plato but we damn well want to believe it is. Even better is the fact that even if it is not Plato it was likely one of his students a la the techno-savvy graduate student pretending to be zizek.

  6. kvond December 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Perfect. I love this.

    And the curious Hermes Trismegistus was one hell of a Twitterer/Bloggster as well.

    Twittering from a false past.

  7. Simon January 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

    A friend pointed me to this post. I guess this is what I’m doing with Žižek on my blog.

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