Interview with the Curator of Žižekian Analysis

This interview was first published in Turkish by Placeless Things. This is a translation.

— Is Žižekian Analysis a journal or what is it?

Žižekian Analysis is an online publication that publishes blog posts of Žižekian people. As it constitutes a place where texts are compiled, one could call it an online “journal” (t.n. Turkish word for “journal” is “dergi”, which means something compiled). In the first ten days, four potential authors have contacted us and six texts by three of them were published on the website.

— In Placeless Things we first publish individual translations and some time later compile them in a “translation compilation”. You can also do like that.

— Yes, possible. One can compile the texts some time later in a “journal issue”.

— So why should there be a need for the Žižekian Analysis (ŽA) journal? For example we already have the International Journal of Žižek Studies (IJŽS, www.zizekstudies.org). Isn’t it enough? Does ŽA meet another need?

— ŽA publishes texts in blog format. IJŽS on the other hand is an academic journal, it publishes academic texts in PDF format. There are differences in form, content and operation.

— Is ŽA an academic journal like IJŽS?

— ŽA wasn’t founded for an “academic” purpose but it does not exclude texts with an academic intent. As the Admin and Editor of ŽA, I view myself as a kind of Curator. It is some kind of Curatorship to compile the texts.

— So do you view ŽA as an artistic medium?

— One could call the compilation of texts “artistic” in the most general sense, but not “fine arts”.

— So you say that ŽA is not an academic journal.

— By “academic journal” one usually means a “peer-reviewed journal”. For instance, IJŽS is like that, it’s both peer-reviewed and academic. But being peer-reviewed might not be the best thing. In fact, if we go to the theoretical grounds of this, Žižekian-Lacanian thought defines “University discourse” and “Analyst’s discourse” as two separate discourses. Analyst’s discourse, which Žižek takes as his basis, is different from the University discourse, which we usually denote by the word “academic”. These two are incompatible.

— Can you summarize the difference between these two discourses?

— University discourse begins from a completed knowledge (S2), its truth is the Master-Signifier (S1), so academic discourse exercises power by defining and imposing valid information. In fact, the basic form of power in today’s capitalist world is the University discourse (and the Hysteric’s discourse feeds it by producing new knowledge). On the other hand, the Analyst’s discourse begins from the lost object of desire (a), its truth is knowledge (S2); one could say that this discourse gives a new basis to knowledge. Knowledge (S2) assumes a fundamental role in both discourses but in the University discourse, knowledge is an instrument of power, whereas in the Analyst’s discourse, knowledge takes a role as the truth that a lost object of desire is based on (the form of power in traditional society, Master’s discourse may support the Analyst’s discourse. Žižek and Badiou tell about the need of a different kind of Master that awakens people to their freedom).

— Still, why is there a need for ŽA? Everyone can open a personal blog and publish his/her own texts, why would they need to publish them on ŽA?

— Texts can interact when they are placed on a common medium. This is something desired. As we have published already six pieces in the first ten days, you can see that there is a high interest. As you may know, the rise of blogs is linked to the decline of symbolic efficiency. Jodi Dean tells about this in her book Blog Theory. What we try to do with ŽA is to gather up the symbolic efficiency that’s been declining in the very universe of blogs.

cropped-zizeks01— Let’s look at the figures a bit. How did you determine the logo?

— You know the pictures of Marx-Engels-Lenin together. I was to prepare a Žižek-Badiou or Žižek-Hegel-Lacan picture like them, but then I decided that a Žižek-Žižek would be better. As I’ve written on the Logo page, this image emphasizes the repeating of Žižek, the parallax gap of Žižek and the minimal difference of Žižek.

— How did you come up with the slogan “Learn, learn and learn!”?

— In the end, ŽA is a relationship with texts. Žižek’s “Learn, learn and learn” joke about Lenin emphasizes this direct relationship with texts. That’s why I found this slogan quite appropriate.

— Do you publish only English texts?

— For the time being, yes. ŽA is in English. We can also publish translations into English.

— Thank you. Would you like to add something?

— Yes, thank you too. I want our readers to consider writing a blog post for Žižekian Analysis. It is not very hard for a Žižekian to come up with a decent short text. Read our call for blog posts. We’re waiting for your submissions.

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