The Plague of Fantasies

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Source

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 discus- sion, Žižek advances one of his most considered analyses of cyberspace which, he avows, threatens to abolish the dimension of Symbolic virtu- ality. 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.