Zizek’s Confused: The Work of Dissemination of the Problem to be Communicated.

Interesting POST over at Neotenionos. Another person taking on the persistent accusation of Slavoj Zizek’s apparent opacity; basically, many people find Zizek’s discourses confusing and some accuse him of being obscure on purpose.

One of the main issues I deal with in my work concerns how it is possible that I intuitively understand certain philosophical authors that are usually and widely known to be dense and difficult to understand. I have no special ability, am perhaps (above) average intelligence, have no special or advanced education, am a slow reader and not very well read (compared to some). For all purposes of consideration, I am an above average musician, and hardly a scholar. How is it that for me certain authors, Zizek included, are not difficult to understand, and in fact, read to me often enough as obvious? Again, I emphasize that I have had no special instruction. I have had only a couple general lower level undergraduate philosophy classes; I was an anthropology major. I read little or no philosophy when I was young, let alone read anything.

In simple terms I think it is not Zizek that is being obscure but the reader/listener who automatically ‘reads’ discourse in a certain manner where Zizek’s discourses must necessarily be complex and difficult.

I submit to the open mind: This is the issue that informs Zizek toward his ability and appearance. This is not to say that he is like me in these particular instances, but that he is like me in the situation of having been granted a view that informs his presentations, how and in what manner he presents himself. It is special because it becomes apparent that very few people have this particular view, and so when one speaks of it, one has to be very careful to speak in a manner that does not offend (like I am probably offending) the listener (this is the meaning of the offense in the Kierkegaardian sense); this care thus is not a choice but an imperative of discourse (in the Kantian sense). In general, Zizek takes his position intact as opposed to problematic, and so uses his situation within a particular context of the situation itself, such that what might be a certain subjective substance cannot be found: In a manner of speaking, he is entirely act. What is problematic is the problem: No subject may appear, or rather, the appearance of the subject is already problematic, as Zizek says somewhere, it is always a subject of…politics, ideology, discourse…whatever.

I will stop there for the passage.

Further; I do not say this of myself to exalt myself in the eyes of others. Exactly the opposite: I say it as a matter of fact, and in fact, it is a fact that I have difficulty with; it is a fact that I am incredulous toward. This disbelief accompanied by the situation as it is presented to me, amounts thus to the whole issue of philosophy. If there are other issues, then they are necessarily subordinate to this first issue, what other more than a few authors have called first philosophy.

I would reject the suggestion that I am some sort of savant or genius, yet, likewise, I can hold my own with any accredited philosopher (given certain conditions, such as, one cannot hold their accreditation to be a mark that places them within proximity to privileged knowledge in the conversation). How did this come about? Some people would say that I don’t really know these philosophers, that I am delusional and misguided. To them I would say, well lets talk about it and we will find out. Yet it is evident that the postmodern condition usually prevents such discussion because the conditions of value and veracity have already been established for what may be accepted. Strangely enough, it is only the condition that is not confined by postmodern mis-appropriations that is able to dispel this odd coincidence.

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