Zizek on Hegel

“The time of Hegel still lies ahead – Hegel’s century will be the XXIst.”—Slavoj Zizek

The Web site Objet Petit A offers a sneak preview of the forthcoming 2011 book Hegel and the Infinite by publishing Slavoj Zizek’s preface, “Hegel’s Century.”

Zizek calls for a reinterpretation of Hegel and makes a case for his continued relevance. While a strict adherence to Hegel’s thought is impossible (“To act like a full Hegelian today is the same as to write tonal music after the Schoenberg revolution”), his influence even in a “post-Hegelian” world is undeniable. Zizek writes:

One should approach the post-Hegelian break in more direct terms. True, there is a break, but in this break, Hegel is the “vanishing mediator” between its “before” and its “after,” between traditional metaphysics and post-metaphysical 19th and 20th century thought. That is to say, something happens in Hegel, a break-through into a unique dimension of thought, which is obliterated, rendered invisible in its true dimension, by the post-metaphysical thought.

In the concluding passage, Zizek speculates on Hegel’s relevance on crucial contemporary debates:

What would Hegel have made of today’s struggle of Liberalism against fundamentalist Faith? One thing is sure: he would not simply take side of liberalism, but would insisted on the “mediation” of the opposites.

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