Slavoj Žižek is a prolific, original, and formidable philosopher. His publishing habits are so productive that any discussion of a particular book is bound to be only a very partial consideration of his work and views as a whole. This applies to the present discussion of First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. The title, of course, is taken from Marx. One relevant classical passage is from the Eighteenth Brumaire: “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.” Žižek’s book is said by its author to deal with 9/11, (along with the subsequent war on terror), and “the financial meltdown of 2008” (1). Žižek sees these as linked features of a continuing crisis. However, the book also expresses a call on the author’s part in light of his account of the ongoing crises in global capitalism for a re-evaluation and continuation of Marx’s project through praxis. Crisis is in his view “inevitable” and also an opportunity. Despite his talk of “communist praxis,” Žižek nonetheless writes of the need not so much to act at once (certainly not impulsively and out of anger), so much as first to re-think the contemporary situation (11).
"First as Tragedy, Then as Farce - Slavoj Žižek,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 1, Article 16.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol1/iss1/16