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My own private Austria

Zizek, Slavoj (2009) My own private Austria. Lacan.com ,

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Official URL: http://www.lacan.com/thesymptom/?p=419

Abstract

How are we to locate Josef Fritzl, the Austrian monster who had her daughter imprisoned for a quarter of century and, after thousands of rapes, had many children with her? Hegel was fully aware of how the weight of an event provided by its symbolic inscription “sublates” its immediate reality – in his Philosophy of History, he provided a wonderful characterization of Thucydides’s history of the Peloponnesian war: “In the Peloponnesian War, the struggle was essentially between Athens and Sparta. Thucydides has left us the history of the greater part of it, and his immortal work is the absolute gain which humanity has derived from that contest.” One should read this judgment in all its naivety: in a way, from the standpoint of the world history, the Peloponnesian war took place so that Thucydides could write a book on it. The term “absolute” should be given here all its weight: from the relative point of our finite human interests, the numerous real tragedies of the Peloponnesian war (suffering, devastation) are, of course, infinitely more important than a book, but from the standpoint of the Absolute, it is the book that matters.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 10:06
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2260

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