Zizek in Portland!

Anyone who lives in the broader Portland, OR area is sure to be familiar with Powell’s Books (the nation’s largest independently owned used book store) and the literary events they host, in which authors come and perform readings of a recent published work. By some lucky chance, Slavoj Zizek is going to be here in the NW presenting his new book, Violence, and reading several excerpts.

The book is part of Picador’s “Big Ideas, Little Books” series, a series designed to introduce key philosophical ideas and topics to a broader, lay audience. This little book is a fun read, and far more accessible than some of his other works (The Parallax View, Organs Without Bodies, take your pick), which can leave some readers, like myself, feeling defeated before completing the Introduction. True to form, Zizek addresses the topic of violence with his usual companions of Lacan, Marx, Hegel, and Nietsche, and offers insightful critiques and correctives. If anyone is in the Portland area tonight the event is being held at Powell’s Books on Burnside. Here is a link to the Powell’s page.


3 Responses to “Zizek in Portland!”

  1. 1 pachysandra September 10, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Were you able to go?

    He was the most engaging philosophical thinker (thinker period) that I’ve seen. I’m glad I went. He opens up something else, releases us from a certain propriety or fashion of being “normal” through his discussion of ideology. In his writings he speaks about ideology as the “limit horizon” of what we think/speak/know. At the lectern it comes out differently. Zizek, the captivating, charismatic yet frenetic nose-picker of a philosopher. How can he possibly be real?

  2. 2 ericroorback September 10, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Yeah, I was! It was amazing! Were you there, or are you referring to a past experience of hearing him lecture?

    This was my first time hearing Zizek speak in person and it was definitely all the I had hoped for. Zizek continues to be an anomaly in my mind: Looking like he just crawled out of a cave, profusely sweating, constantly pulling at his shirt and messing with his nose, yet married to a super-model, and being one of the most brilliant people I have ever heard speak, with his apparent reading of all of Western philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, critical theory, and having seen most of the films ever made (ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much), not to mention being an atheist, yet a proponent of Christianity. I agree with you; how this man can possibly be real is a mystery to me, but I’m glad he is. I wish that more philosophers were as enjoyable to read/listen to as he is.

  3. 3 ericroorback September 10, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I took some pictures at the event that I’ll try to put up soon. I definitely got my picture taken with him, for which my friends tried to make fun of me. However, this was more out an attempt to be cool-headed, disinterested academics in front of all the other people, Zizek included, but thats no fun! Ha!

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