Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory, McGill University, blogging about political theory, political science, academic life, books, geekstuff, and coffee.
Sorry, Jacob, but I'm calling "bullshit" on this one. I know you used to write for TNR yourself, and so I try not to judge you by the company you once kept, but this is a classic TNR hatchet-job: two parts moral self-righteousness, one part "scandalous" quotation mongering. Its apparent purpose is fulfilled by the comment section, in which liberals congratulate themselves for their own clear-eyed moral seriousness by tut-tutting those infantile leftists. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with a little exercise in liberal solidarity-making, but no one's actually going to learn anything about Zizek from Kirsch's piece.
One more thing (I swear I'm not trying to make you regret your decision to open comments): Is Kirsch accusing Zizek of antisemitism? Or is he merely playing footsy with the accusation, trying to lead his readers to think Zizek is an antisemite, but without actually having to come out, say it, and then defend the accusation? I would challenge anyone inclined to defend Kirsch to answer that question.
Hrmph - why did you have to spoil my fun, Will? I had just been thinking that this was the very best sort of article: one that convinces the reader that he is entirely justified in dismissing a thinker whom he was unlikely to ever read in the first place. So rarely does one get to feel guilt-free about placing authors famous enough to have their own secondary literatures in the 'never going to read' pile!
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