I’ve blogged a few nuggets by Slovenian philosopher Zlavod Zizek a couple of times before (once on the hypocrisy of conscious consumerism, once on America’s own problems with fundamentalists). Now it’s time to listen to him on love.
“Love feels like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.”
Anyway, if you liked that, you might like this article by Kathleen O’Dwyer, which goes into a little more detail on his thoughts on and attempts at unraveling the nature of love. Here’s a taster from the intro:
The postmodern psychoanalyst-philosopher Slavoj Žižek is noted for his flamboyant style, his embrace of contradiction, and his often controversial exposure of the dualities, deceptions and disavowals which characterize contemporary culture. Reflecting on these aspects of Žižek’s work, his biographer Tony Myers states that “Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher. He is, however, no ordinary philosopher, for he thinks and writes in such a recklessly entertaining fashion, he constantly risks making philosophy enjoyable.” What makes Žižek different from ‘ordinary philosophers’, according to Myers, is his persistent sense of wonder and amazement, which he expresses in a limitless questioning of everything: “With all the guile of a child asking his parents why the sky is blue, Žižek questions everything that passes for wisdom about who we are, what we are doing and why we do it.” As an astute commentator on historical and contemporary disasters and difficulties, Žižek examines political, social and individual issues with a combination of philosophical reflection and cultural analysis. One such issue is the concept of neighbourly love.
Žižek’s analysis of the Christian injunction ‘to love one’s neighbour as oneself’ queries both its possibility and its expediency. His argument centres on the assertions that the universal love so promoted disavows that which is unlovable in human nature, and that love must in some sense be an autonomous decision (simply, that love cannot be commanded)…[read the rest here]