‘The Unconscious’ by Sigmund Freud | AudioBook

3 hours and 52 minutes in total. Published by Penguin Audio in 2019.

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This Penguin Classic is performed by Michael Pennington, one of the founders of the English Shakespeare Company, known for his stage work with the RSC, and who played Carl Jung in the BBC drama, Freud. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Mark Cousins.  

One of Freud’s central achievements was to demonstrate how unacceptable thoughts and feelings are repressed into the unconscious, from where they continue to exert a decisive influence over our lives. This volume contains a key statement about evidence for the unconscious, and how it works, as well as major essays on all the fundamentals of mental functioning. Freud explores how we are torn between the pleasure principle and the reality principle, how we often find ways both to express and to deny what we most fear, and why certain men need fetishes for their sexual satisfaction. His study of our most basic drives, and how they are transformed, brilliantly illuminates the nature of sadism, masochism, exhibitionism and voyeurism.

‘Violence: Six Sideways Reflections’ by Slavoj Žižek

First published in 2007.

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Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilisation cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of ‘the neighbour’? And could the appropriate form of action against violence simply be to contemplate, to think?

In this passionate plea for awareness, Žižek turns his unflinching gaze on the capitalist democracies we live in. He explores the bloody totalitarian regimes of the last century and that violence which is named ‘divine’.

Drawing on high and low culture, Kant, Lacan, jokes and contemporary cinema, this celebrated academic turned philosophical icon discusses the inherent violence of globalisation, fundamentalism and language in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers.

This is a book poised to set a new agenda for our thinking about violence.

‘Žižek and Law’ by Laurent de Sutter

Published by Routledge in 2015.

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The very first book dedicated to Slavoj Žižek’s theoretical treatment of law, this book gathers widely recognized Žižek scholars as well as legal theorists to offer a sustained analysis of the place of law in Žižek’s work. Whether it is with reference to symbolic law, psychoanalytical law, religious law, positive law, human rights, to Lacan’s, Hegel’s, or Kant’s philosophies of law, or even to Jewish or Buddhist law, Žižek returns again and again to law. And what his work offers, this volume demonstrates, is a radically new approach to law, and a rethinking of its role within the framework of radical politics. With the help of Žižek himself – who here, and for the first time, directly engages with the topic of law – this collection provides an authoritative account of ‘Žižek and law’. It will be invaluable resource for researchers and students in the fields of law, legal theory, legal philosophy, political theory, psychoanalysis, theology, and cultural studies.

‘The Rise of Obscene Masters: Taking Donald Trump Seriously’ by Slavoj Žižek

Audio from an event that took place at Birkbeck, University of London on 20 – 21 November 2019.


Not such a long time ago, in a galaxy that now appears far, far away, the public space was clearly distinguished from the obscenities of private exchanges. Today, however, not only we can read in the mass media about the intimate details of public personalities, populist politicians themselves often regress to shameless obscenity. It is the very public domain in which “fake news” circulates, in which rumors and conspiracy theories abound. One should not lose sight of what is so surprising about this rise of shameless obscenity. Traditionally (or in our retroactive view of tradition, at least), shameless obscenity worked as subversive, as an undermining of traditional domination, as depriving the Master of his false dignity. In the 1960s protesting students liked to use obscene words or make obscene gestures to embarrass figures of power and, so they claimed, denounce their hypocrisy. However, what we are getting today, with the exploding public obscenity, is not the disappearance of authority, of Master figures, but its forceful reappearance – we are getting something unimaginable decades ago, obscene Masters.

‘Slavoj Žižek: Live Theory’ by Rex Butler

Published by Continuum in 2005.

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Slavoj Žižek is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading cultural critics. His witty, psychoanalytically-inspired analyses of contemporary society have almost single-handedly revived the notion of ideology. His brilliant commentaries on the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the 19th century German Idealists have brought alive their often difficult ideas for a new generation of readers. But does Žižek have anything to say in his own right? Is there a system of thought that we can properly call ” Žižekian”? This book argues that there is, through a reading of two terms in his work-the master-signifier and the act. Featuring an interview with Žižek himself, Slavoj Žižek: Live Theory presents a snapshot of the Žižek system ideal for undergraduates in social and cultural theory and philosophy.

‘Slavoj Žižek: A Little Piece of the Real’ By Matthew Sharpe

Published by Routledge in 2004.

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Slavoj Žižek has emerged as the pre-eminent European cultural theorist of the last decade and has been described as the ultimate Marxist/Lacanian cultural studies scholar. His large and growing body of work has generated considerable controversy, yet his texts are not structured as standard academic tomes.

In Slavoj Žižek: A Little Piece of the Real, Matthew Sharpe undertakes the difficult task of drawing out an evolving argument from all of Žižek’s texts from 1989 to 2001, and reads them as the bearers of a single theoretical project, providing an authoritative, reliable, clearly written and well-structured account of Žižek’s demanding body of work. From an exposition of Žižek’s social and philosophical critical theory the book moves to a critical analysis of Žižek’s theoretical project and its political implications. Sharpe concludes by suggesting that Žižek’s work, however, raises as many questions as it answers; questions both about Žižek’s theoretical system and to the wider new Left in today’s world.

‘The Universal Exception’ by Slavoj Žižek

First published by Continuum in 2006.

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The Universal Exception is the second volume of the selected writings of Slavoj Žižek-one of the most provocative and inspiring writers on culture at work today.

Bringing together a broad selection of Žižek’s major writings on politics, The Universal Exception showcases Žižek’s formidable range of interests and his style. The book includes his interventions on such world political events as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the American-led invasion of Iraq, his celebration of the revolutionary potential of Stalinism, and his critique of Third Way politics.

Together with Interrogating the Real, the first volume of Žižek’s selected writings, this collection offers a superb introduction to the work of this prolific, controversial and vastly entertaining cultural commentator.

‘Interrogating the Real’ by Slavoj Žižek

First published by Continuum in 2005.

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Interrogating the Real is the first volume of the collected writings of Slavoj Žižek – undoubtedly one of the world’s leading contemporary cultural commentators, and one of the most inspiring, provocative and entertaining cultural critics at work today. Drawing upon the full range of his prolific output, the articles here cover psychoanalysis, philosophy and popular culture, reflecting the remarkable breadth and depth of Žižek’s interest in politics, culture and philosophy, and also showcasing his entertaining style. A full and clear sense of Žižekian philosophy emerges, derived from Hegelian dialectics, Marxist politics and Lacanian psychoanalysis. At the same time, Žižek’s witty and accessible approach to his subject and his choice of exemplars from pop culture ensure that this is a consistently fresh and surprising body of work.

The book includes a new preface by Žižek himself, as well as an introduction by the editors and a helpful glossary for those coming to Žižek’s work for the first time.

‘How to Read Lacan’ by Slavoj Žižek

Published by W. W. Norton Company in 2006.

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Lacan’s motto of the ethics of psychoanalysis involves a profound paradox. Traditionally, psychoanalysis was expected to allow the patient to overcome the obstacles which prevented access to “normal” sexual enjoyment; today, however, we are bombarded by different versions of the injunction “Enjoy!” Psychoanalysis is the only discourse in which you are allowed not to enjoy. Slavoj Žižek’s passionate defense of Lacan reasserts Lacan’s ethical urgency. For Lacan, psychoanalysis is a procedure of reading and each chapter reads a passage from Lacan as a tool to interpret another text from philosophy, art or popular ideology.

‘Concept and Form / Cahiers pour l’Analyse’ by Peter Hallward and Knox Peden

Published by Verso in 2012.

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Concept and Form is a two-volume monument to the work of the philosophy journal the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (1966–69), the most ambitious and radical collective project to emerge from French structuralism. Inspired by their teachers Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan, the editors of the Cahiers sought to sever philosophy from the interpretation of given meanings or experiences, focusing instead on the mechanisms that structure specific configurations of discourse, from the psychological and ideological to the literary, scientific, and political. Adequate analysis of the operations at work in these configurations, they argue, helps prepare the way for their revolutionary transformation.

The first volume comprises English translations of some of the most important theoretical texts published in the journal, written by thinkers who would soon be counted among the most inventive and influential of their generation.

The second volume collects newly commissioned essays on the journal, together with recent interviews with people who were either members of its editorial board or associated with its broader theoretical project.

Contributors include Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Edward Baring, Jacques Bouveresse, Yves Duroux, Alain Grosrichard, Peter Hallward, Adrian Johnston, Serge Leclaire, Patrice Maniglier, Tracy McNulty, Jacques-Alain Miller, Jean-Claude Milner, Knox Peden, Jacques Rancière, François Regnault, and Slavoj Žižek.