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    My own private Austria

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

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    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: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for the (BIH)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 10:06
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:52


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