Slavo Zizek: Quote of the Day

Kinder Surprise, one of the most popular confectionery products on sale in Europe, are empty chocolate eggshells wrapped in brightly colored paper; when you unwrap the egg and crack the chocolate shell open, you find inside a small plastic toy (or small parts from which a toy can be put together). A child who buys this chocolate egg often unwraps it nervously and just breaks the chocolate, not bothering to eat it, worrying only about the toy in the center—is not such a chocolate-lover a perfect case of Lacan’s motto “I love you, but, inexplicably, I love something in you more than yourself, and, therefore, I destroy you”? And, in effect, is this toy not l’objet petit a at its purest, the small object filling in the central void of our desire, the hidden treasure, agalma, at the center of the thing we desire?

Slavoj Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf

4 thoughts on “Slavo Zizek: Quote of the Day

    • It was interesting that he brought out the use of Quantum physics, yet he didn’t discuss Zizek’s notions of pre-ontological chaos as Democritus’s “den”, and that is the main drift of the final chapter is this war in philosophy from the beginning between Parmenides (Idealism) and Democritus (Materialism) is over the notion that “Being” is an effect of “Nothing”… and that the pre-ontological chaos of den is productive of nothing, which then gives effect to Being. Zizek aligns this to quantum physics. This is where he talks of the photon as nothing in itself, but a nothing that effects and brings order to an atom, etc. He gives us that notion of “clinaman” first give by Lucretius and its two forms within Deleuze and Lacan, etc.

      All interesting… I’m still rereading aspects of it. I remember Land’s base materialism is very much out of the Democritean and Lucretian mold:

      Against a reading that would see libidinal materialism as thermodynamics Land tells us that we must realize that it has no ontology, it does not predicate any substantial or subsistent being: in “contrast to the energy of physical thermodynamics, libidinal energy is chaotic, or pre-ontological” (43). There is no sense of a science and ontology of energy, particles, space/time dynamics, etc. instead there is only ever utter “chaos and composition” (43). Being is an effect of chaos rather than the first cause stabilized in some ungrounded ground. With a theory of composition at the core of this there is no sense of a substantial formalism involved, there are only layers and degrees of being as becoming, as process not some static fixed ratio of solid Being.

      So for Land the compositional part produces or effects Being, etc.


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