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Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The diacritics on
Žižek’s signature hover over his name like vagrant seagulls in the copy of On Violence I picked up in London the other day.

I’ve mentioned the book before, so won’t do it again after this, but I liked the Communist joke he quotes on the wife or mistress question. Which would you prefer, Marx, Engels and Lenin are asked. ‘A wife’, replies the uxorious Marx. ‘A mistress’, says the loucher Engels. ‘Both’, says Lenin. And why? ‘So I can tell my wife I’m going to see my mistress and my mistress I’m going to see my wife and be on my own to study, study, study for the revolution.’

I also like the Sufi prayer he quotes, which goes something like ‘Lord, if I pray to you that I may go to heaven, deny me heaven, if I pray to you out of fear of hell, send me to hell.’

Still on Lenin, there is another joke about him not mentioned here (though God knows, Žižek knows how to repeat himself) about an erotic painting called ‘Lenin in Warsaw’. It shows Natalia Krupskaya in bed with a young Komsomol. But where is Lenin?, the viewer will ask. He is in Warsaw.

1 comment:

lemuel said...

Actually, I think it's "Lenin in Helsinki" :)