I was interested to see that Žižek’s bio statement has changed on his latest book. He’s no longer framed as the ‘Elvis of cultural theory’ (a designation I’m struggling to find a source for) but rather as a contrarian of the sort personified by Christopher Hitchens:
Slavoj Žižek is one of the most prolific and well-known philosophers and cultural theorists in the world today. His inventive, provocative body of work mixes Hegelian metaphysics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Marxist dialectic in order to challenge conventional wisdom and accepted verities on both the Left and the Right.
There’s are obvious political reasons for this shift, as the analysis of ‘political correctness’ in his recent books has read like something out of the right-wing British press when I was growing up. It’s not unpersuasive, it’s weirdly anachronistic in how he lays out what he sees as the issues, even when talking about contemporary events. However I wonder if this fault line is manifested in declining sales? Are less people reading Žižek’s books as he gets ever more repetitive and ever prone to what are, effectively, right-wing media talking points? If so to what extent is this expressed in the subtle but significant reframing of his public role found in the bio?
Categories: Things to think about