SEX AND THE FAILED ABSOLUTE
Lecture series at NYU presented by Slavoj Žižek
Lecture 3: Beckett's art of Abstraction
We will tackle straight on the old metaphysical topic: is it possible for us, finite and mortal humans, to achieve some kind of contact with the Absolute? After a brief overview of the traditional and modern answers (ecstatic religious union with the Absolute, immersion into the primordial Void, identification with the destructiveness of nature, intellectual intuition, transcendental-historical reflection, etc.), we will propose the Lacanian answer: sexuality is our primordial brush with the Absolute – sexuality as our basic experience of failure, of impossibility. This becomes palpably clear in our historical moment when this status of sexuality is under threat. In deploying this thesis, we will pass through many particular topic: Beckett’s art of abstraction; neurotheology; sexbots; fake news; quantum physics; posthumanity.
Lectures will take place at Deutsches Haus at NYU (42 Washington Mews) at the dates and times listed below:
Thursday, October 18 2:00 – 4:40 pm: Modalities of the Absolute
Friday, October 19 3:00 – 5:40 pm: Sex as our brush with the Absolute
Thursday, October 25 2:00 – 4:40 pm: Beckett’s art of Abstraction
Friday, October 26 3:00 – 5:40 pm: Figures of Post-Humanity
- Slavoj Žižek, Incontinence of the Void, Cambridge: MIT Press 2017, chapters 1, 2, 4.
- Samuel Beckett, Catastrophe (available online)
Auditors are welcome for these 4 sessions. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the graduate lectures presented by Slavoj Žižek.
*Organized by the Dept of German