Another end of the world is possible…‪

In his lecture On Melancholy and an essay entitled Melancholy and the Act, Slavoj Žižek claims that melancholia occurs not when we lose the object, but rather when the object is still here although we no longer desire it. According to Zizek, melancholia as Freud defines it in Mourning and Melancholia, shouldn’t be interpreted as if it is a product of the failure of mourning, but rather as the premature mourning for an object before it is lost. According to the orthodox interpretation of Freud’s essay, the work of mourning is to symbolize the loss and transcend it, so that one can go on with one’s life as usual. Melancholia takes over the subject if the work of mourning fails in rendering the subject capable of accepting the loss. A melancholic is s/he who cannot come to terms with the loss and turns the lost object into an unattainable object of fascination, and melancholia is the obsession with that which is not, or no more is. Against this interpretation, Zizek pits Agamben’s reading of Mourning and Melancholia in his Stanzas, where he claims that melancholia is a premature mourning, that in melancholia it is not the object but the object cause of desire and consequently the desire itself that is lost. For Zizek this is precisely the Cartesian subject’s mode of being. The Cartesian subject lives under the shadow of a loss and that loss is the desire for God. God is not dead yet, but we no longer desire it. It’s not for nothing that Lacan has once said “desire is a relation of being to lack.” But we are no longer in 1953, and as Zizek points out time and again there is a shift in Lacan’s attention from desire to drive, from symptom to sinthome, and from mourning to melancholia towards the end of his seminars.

In his Organs Without Bodies, Slavoj Žižek undertakes a critique of Deleuzo-Guattarian concept of the Body Without Organs, claiming that what Deleuze and Guattari have in mind when they use the concept of desire is precisely the Lacanian drive, or the Freudian death-drive. This confusion of concepts on behalf of D&G is in stark contrast with Deleuze’s use of the concept in Difference and Repetition. For therein Deleuze attributes a positive quality to the death-drive, just like Lacan does later in his career. If we keep in mind that drive is the fixation on impossibility and desire is the relation of being to lack, we can see the profoundly Lacanian dimension of Deleuze’s thought as he wrote Difference and Repetition. Even in The Logic of Sense Deleuze still affirms desire as lack. It is only with his collaboration with Guattari in Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus) that leads Deleuze to create a new concept of desire, desire as production. But the whole thing turns against itself in time and the Deleuzo-Guattarian concept of desire turns out to be the Lacano-Freudian concept of death-drive.

From “Melancholia and the Cartesian Subject”
Read on this article here:

A more comprehensive take on these issues can be found in the essay down here…
The Three Modalities of Immanent Infinity: Life, Matter and Thought in Henry, Deleuze, Badiou, and Žižek

“On Melancholy” is a lecture delivered by Slavoj Žižek about melancholy as the loss of the object cause of desire. In this lecture he discusses the zero level of dialectics, the subject of desire, the death of God, and the Freudian distinction between mourning and melancholy in relationship to Lacan, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Deleuze and Hegel focusing on lamella, suture, big Other, commodity fetishism, fantasy, objet petit a, desire, death drive and the unconscious.

This open public lecture was addressed to the students and faculty of the European Graduate School’s Media and Communication Studies department program at Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe, in 2012.

Slavoj Žižek at EGS:

#Zizek #Philosophy #Psychoanalysis #Politics #CriticalTheory #CulturalTheory #Film #Communication #Media #Theory #Descartes #Lacan #Freud #Nietzsche #Hegel #Deleuze


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