Slavoj Žižek: First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

(2607 words)

In his introduction to First as Tragedy, then as Farce (2009), Žižek refers to the beginning of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire, where Marx astutely observes that “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great events and characters of world history occur, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” (146).

The tragedy referred to in Žižek’s title is September 11, 2001; the farce is the financial meltdown of 2008. The ideological fantasy of a liberal-democratic, global capitalist utopia died its first (tragic) death on September 11, 2001; then it died its second (farcical) death with the financial meltdown of 2008. In numerous works, Žižek argues that we …

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Citation:
Wood, Kelsey. "First As Tragedy, Then As Farce". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 February 2013
[http://litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34888, accessed 02 September 2014.]