Talk:The Plague of Fantasies

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Žižek, S. (1997) The Plague of Fantasies, London and New York: Verso.

Review by Tony Myers

This is an extended explanation of the psychoanalytical concept of fantasy. The 'plague' of the title refers to the deluge of pseudo-concrete images which Žižek places in an antagonistic relationship to the ever greater abstractions which determine our lives. As part of this discussion, Žižek advances one of his most considered analyses of cyberspace which, he avows, threatens to abolish the dimension of Symbolic virtuality. Given that fantasy plays such a key role in Žižek's anatomy of the human condition, the first chapter here - which is a seven-point clarification of the concept - is a particularly valuable addition to the Žižekian corpus, making this one of the books most suited to a first-time Žižek reader. As an added enticement, this work also contains Žižek's famous Hegelian analysis of German, French and English toilet designs.