|Real Name:||Slavoj Žižek|
|Birth Day:||March 21, 1949|
|Birth Place:||Llubljana, Slovenia, Yugoslavia [now Slovenia], Not Known|
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In 1967, during an era of liberalization in Titoist Yugoslavia, Žižek enrolled at the University of Ljubljana and studied philosophy and sociology.
He had already begun reading French structuralists prior to entering university, and in 1967 he published the first translation of a text by Jacques Derrida into Slovenian. Žižek frequented the circles of dissident intellectuals, including the Heideggerian philosophers Tine Hribar and Ivo Urbančič, and published articles in alternative magazines, such as Praxis, Tribuna and Problemi, which he also edited. In 1971 he accepted a job as an assistant researcher with the promise of tenure, but was dismissed after his Master's thesis was denounced by the authorities as being "non-Marxist". He graduated from the University of Ljubljana in 1981 with a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy for his dissertation entitled The Theoretical and Practical Relevance of French Structuralism.
In 1985, Žižek completed a second doctorate (Doctor of Philosophy in psychoanalysis) at the University of Paris VIII under Jacques-Alain Miller and François Regnault.
He wrote the introduction to Slovene translations of G. K. Chesterton's and John Le Carré's detective novels. In 1988, he published his first book dedicated entirely to film theory. He achieved international recognition as a social theorist with the 1989 publication of his first book in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology.
In the late 1980s, Žižek came to public attention as a columnist for the alternative youth magazine Mladina, which was critical of Tito's policies, Yugoslav politics, especially the militarization of society. He was a member of the Communist Party of Slovenia until October 1988, when he quit in protest against the JBTZ trial together with 32 other Slovenian intellectuals. Between 1988 and 1990, he was actively involved in several political and civil society movements which fought for the democratization of Slovenia, most notably the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights. In the first free elections in 1990, he ran as the Liberal Democratic Party's candidate for the former four-person collective presidency of Slovenia.
In 2003, Žižek wrote text to accompany Bruce Weber's photographs in a catalog for Abercrombie & Fitch. Questioned as to the seemliness of a major intellectual writing ad copy, Žižek told The Boston Globe, "If I were asked to choose between doing things like this to earn money and becoming fully employed as an American academic, kissing ass to get a tenured post, I would with pleasure choose writing for such journals!"
His body of writing spans dense theoretical polemics, academic tomes, and accessible introductory books; in addition, he has taken part in various film projects, including two documentary collaborations with director Sophie Fiennes, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006) and The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012). His work has impacted both academic and widespread public audiences. (See for example his commentary in the 2003 Abercrombie and Fitch Quarterly).
Žižek and his thought have been the subject of several documentaries. The 1996 Liebe Dein Symptom wie Dich selbst! is a German documentary on him. In the 2004 The Reality of the Virtual, Žižek gave a one-hour lecture on his interpretation of Lacan's tripartite thesis of the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real. Zizek! is a 2005 documentary by Astra Taylor on his philosophy. The 2006 The Pervert's Guide to Cinema and 2012 The Pervert's Guide to Ideology also portray Žižek's ideas and cultural criticism. Examined Life (2008) features Žižek speaking about his conception of ecology at a garbage dump. He was also featured in the 2011 Marx Reloaded, directed by Jason Barker.
Žižek has been married four times; his third wife was Argentine model Analía Hounie, whom he married in 2005. He is currently married to the Slovene journalist, columnist, and philosopher Jela Krečič, daughter of the architectural historian Peter Krečič. He has two sons.
Hundreds of academics have addressed aspects of Žižek's work in professional papers, and in 2007, the International Journal of Žižek Studies was established for the discussion of his work.
In a 2008 interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, he described himself as a "communist in a qualified sense," and in another appearance in October 2009 he described himself as a "radical leftist." The following year Žižek appeared in the Arte documentary Marx Reloaded in which he defended the idea of communism.
Žižek participated in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll, where he listed his ten favorite films as follows: 3:10 to Yuma, Dune, The Fountainhead, Hero, Hitman, Nightmare Alley, On Dangerous Ground, Opfergang, The Sound of Music, and We the Living.
Despite his activity in liberal democratic projects, Žižek has continued to identify himself as a communist, and has been critical of right-wing circles, such as nationalists, conservatives, and classical liberals both in Slovenia and worldwide. He wrote that the convention center in which nationalist Slovene writers hold their conventions should be blown up, adding, "Since we live in the time without any sense of irony, I must add I don't mean it literally." Similarly, he jokingly made the following comment in May 2013, during Subversive Festival: "If they don't support SYRIZA, then, in my vision of the democratic future, all these people will get from me [is] a first-class one-way ticket to [a] gulag." In response, the center-right New Democracy party claimed Žižek's comments should be understood literally, not ironically.
In 2013, he corresponded with imprisoned Russian activist and Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
Žižek's tendency to recycle portions of his own texts in subsequent works resulted in the accusation of self-plagiarism by The New York Times in 2014, after Žižek published an op-ed in the magazine which contained portions of his writing from an earlier book. In response, Žižek expressed perplexity at the harsh tone of the denunciation, emphasizing that the recycled passages in question only acted as references from his theoretical books to supplement otherwise original writing.
On 11 July 2014, American weekly newsmagazine Newsweek reported that in an article published in 2006 Žižek plagiarized substantial passages from an earlier review that first appeared in the journal American Renaissance, a publication condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the organ of a "white nationalist hate group." However, in response to the allegations, Žižek stated:
In 2016, during a conversation with Gary Younge at a Guardian Live event, Žižek endorsed Donald Trump for the US presidency in the 2016 election. He described Trump as a paradox, basically a centrist liberal in most of his positions, desperately trying to mask this by dirty jokes and stupidities. In an opinion piece, published e.g. in Die Zeit, he described the then frontrunner candidate Hillary Clinton as the much less suitable alternative. In an interview with the BBC, Žižek did however state that he thought Trump was "horrible" and his support would have been based on an attempt to encourage the Democratic Party to return to more leftist ideals.
In 2019, Žižek began hosting a mini-series called How to Watch the News with Slavoj Žižek on the RT network. In April, Žižek debated psychology professor Jordan Peterson at the Sony Centre in Toronto, Canada over happiness under capitalism versus Marxism.
Currently, Slavoj Zizek is 74 years, 2 months and 7 days old. Slavoj Zizek will celebrate 75th birthday on a Thursday 21st of March 2024.
Find out about Slavoj Zizek birthday activities in timeline view here.