Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Book Review: The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity by Slavoj Žižek

Originally appeared on the WBUR web site.

Slavoj Žižek, "The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity"

By Harvey Blume

Though born in Slovenia (then part of Yugoslavia) in 1949, Slavoj Zizek belongs to that most slippery school of recent French thought: he's a Lacanian. Jaques Lacan, who died in 1981, was a Parisan psychoanalyst whose tantalizing departures from orthodox Freudianism prompted the English writer Adam Phillips to label him an "inspired" albeit "bizarre analyst." Lacan's work resists simple capsulization, but you can get a taste for the kind of post-Freudian hi-jinks that have made Zizek's high-flying academic reputation just by taking a good look at the front and back covers of "The Puppet and the Dwarf."