05 March, 2006

Abercrombie & Žižek

Old news, yes. But who can resist applause when they hear of Slavoj Zizek, the Lacanian 'philosopher-entertainer', that prize among post-structuralist Slavs, whose particular gimmick is to "psychoanalyse the world", hawking his pen to a 2003 Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue? I quote this website:
Discussing a shot in which a topless blonde turns her face to the sun while her two male companions undress, the author of Enjoy Your Symptom! restricts himself to musing, ''This now of the peaceful satisfaction is to her infinitely preferable to the prospect of copulation.''

. . . But Zizek bristled at the suggestion that there was anything unseemly about an internationally renowned intellectual writing copy for a clothing catalog. ''If I were asked to choose between doing things like this to earn money and becoming fully employed as an American academic, kissing [EXPLETIVE] to get a tenured post,'' he growled, ''I would with pleasure choose writing for such journals!''
Well, quite. I'd like a copy of that catalogue, actually. But what next? Will ransackers of Derrida's estate find lost editorial for TV Quick? Geoffrey Hartman convinced to produce menus for the Four Seasons? Or perhaps Judith Butler will do a Playboy centrefold with Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva: hubba hubba! One can't help but think that the fêted élite of critical theory have missed their best audience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo SZ for the comment on "career academics", but the scary thing is to go see him live, when an arena-full of said career academics will roar their approval at comments like this, then go back to being the most cowed and conformist social subgroup imaginable. He really is the Fool of American academia. May he live long and prosper! But I wonder if at some point he won't give up in disgust and do something else?