My piece on Zizek in LA Review of Books

The Los Angeles Review of Books has published a piece of mine called “How to Read Zizek,” which is a kind of counterpoint to dismissive reviews in mainstream liberal publications.

28 Responses to “My piece on Zizek in LA Review of Books

  1. cruth01 Says:

    Excellent article. I wonder what Duncan’s response will be? There were two typos, I think, but I can only find one now: “complimentary” should be “complementary.” Not trying to be “gotcha,” I just figure since it’s online you can change it.

    I like the “drug pusher” remark, it’s refreshing to see a little advocacy after all the dismissive things that have come out…

  2. Hill Says:

    I thought this was a great piece that will hopefully reach a wide audience that isn’t too jaded to benefit from it.

  3. Stephen Graham Says:

    Yeah, really great, for what it’s worth.

  4. Anon Says:

    great piece

  5. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Nice that everyone’s favorite crank could show up in comments.

  6. Daniel Lindquist Says:

    I am deeply saddened to check the comments and find that it’s not the Troll of Sorrow. I miss you, ToSsy.

  7. cruth01 Says:

    I’m not sure what this means, it’s from comments at 3 Quarks Daily:

    “Adam Kostko? I thought he only wrote in bulk wholesale quantities.”

    Does that mean we can get a good price?

  8. Adam Kotsko Says:

    It must piss off the warehouse discount club chain to be confused with me so often.

  9. Adam Kotsko Says:

    It doesn’t appear that the negative comments are winning many people over — still, it’s annoying that my piece, which I worked hard on, went over multiple drafts of, etc., is going to be indelibly associated with that crap. I can see having a forum for feature articles, but the fact that any idiot can come along and type in something that becomes a permanent part of the article’s presentation feels wrong to me. (Even more for newspapers, which are presumably serving as a permanent record of the events reported — and so anyone who is researching those events also gets a healthy serving of racist comments, etc.)

  10. Craig McFarlane Says:

    A companion piece is clearly called for: “How to Read Adam Kotsko on Me” written, of course, by Slavoj Zizek.

    Notwithstanding the prodigious output of that woman best forgotten and ignored, you should be happy that the long-winded guy from that respectable liberal group blog hasn’t joined in with another forty-thousand words of barely coherent crap.

  11. Tom Says:

    I don’t really like Zizek but your piece hit on precisely what I do appreciate about him, well done.

  12. Adam Kotsko Says:

    I’m thinking of demanding that comments be turned off on any “online magazine” piece I write. Maybe I could even start a mass movement.

  13. Jordan Says:

    You article was, admittedly, pretty generous. I was disappointed that you didn’t address the more controversial features of Zizek’s philosophical work, i.e. it would have been helpful to readers discuss his perspective on violence, which received serious critique in the NY Review Books article you referenced.

  14. Adam Kotsko Says:

    The critique in the NYRB article was completely idioitc, which anyone reading his work with an open mind would recognize. Zizek explicitly defines three different senses of violence, but Gray reads each one as though it means literal physical violence. Such stupidity doesn’t warrant a direct response.

  15. Jordan Says:

    I agree with you about the NYRM article, but I thought given the fact that you titled your piece “How To Read Zizek” implying that you were going to give a hermeneutic for reading him and the centrality of violence in Zizek’s work you might have aided the lay reader of Zizek with some helpful insights in how to read his nuanced position on violence. In any case, I appreciate the response.

  16. Adam Kotsko Says:

    No one needs a guide from me to figure out how to respond when a philosopher defines terms.

  17. nnyhav Says:

    Paradoxicallly Chesterton came to mind

  18. Jordan Says:

    You’re right, most of Zizek’s terms are pretty self-explanatory, haha.

  19. seymourblogger Says:

    Adam I would really like you to read this blog post of mine. It’s pretty short, and includes Zizek. I loved your article and included excerpts in the comment section of mine. Sorry I lost all mine on the la site. It clarified this horrendous and virulent argument over the scandal of Pattinson and Stewart which was a blessing.

  20. Joshua Hardina Says:

    Adam, it is a terrific piece! I don’t know if you remember me, but in 2002 or so I was toying around with the then-new concept of blogging, you and I became internet friends, our blogs were linked, we discussed Zizek, but we never met each other. It was strange to strike upon this article and find the two of us published in the same venue (The LA Review of Books). My blog was called The Sliver; my real name is Joshua Hardina. Funny how paths re-cross. I wish you all the best!

  21. seymourblogger Says:

    Do you still have this blog and do you write about Zizek?

  22. cruth01 Says:

    Man, if this Zizek stuff can bring some clarity to the unfortunate K-Stew situation we’ll all be grateful…

  23. seymourblogger Says:

    Well start here then and go down. There are about 10-12 of them. Some Baudrillard and Nietzsche too. Feedback please.

  24. cruth01 Says:


    To be honest, I can’t actually figure out what’s going on on that page, or how to read it. I think blogs are right at the limit of my current understanding of how to interface with a computer…

  25. cruth01 Says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize I had to scroll down past all that stuff at the top…I’m just an idiot.

  26. seymourblogger Says:

    Which post were you reading?

  27. seymourblogger Says:

    cruth01 The blogspot software has advantages and disadvantages. But it is way better than the LA Times which has relly sucky software and a suckier registration process. Their IT person needs to go.

  28. Joshua Hardina Says:

    I do not still maintain the blog. Feel free to add me on Facebook if you like.

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