Théatre des quatre Saisons

Navayana's ultra-intellectual offering this winter is a set of four books by Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Rancière, Michel Foucault, and Pierre Bourdieu. And a travelling roadshow with documentaries by and on Žižek!

About the books...

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce
by Slavoj Žižek: The title of this book is intended as an elementary IQ test for the reader: if the first association it generates is the vulgar anti-communist cliché —“You are right—today, after the tragedy of twentieth-century totalitarianism, all the talk about a return to communism can only be farcical!”—then I sincerely advise you to stop here. Indeed, the book should be forcibly confiscated from you, since it deals with an entirely different tragedy and farce, namely, the two events which mark the beginning and the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century: the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the financial meltdown of 2008.

In paperback, 156 pages, Rs 200, ISBN: 9788189059019

The Future of the Image by Jacques Rancière: To resemble was long taken to be the peculiarity of art, while an infinite number of spectacles and forms of imitation were proscribed from it. In our day, not to resemble is taken for the imperative of art, while photographs, videos and displays of objects similar to everyday ones have taken the place of abstract canvases in galleries and museums. But this formal imperative of non-resemblance is itself caught up in a singular dialectic. For there is growing disquiet: does not resembling involve renouncing the visible? Or does it involve subjecting its concrete richness to the operations and artifices whose matrix resides in language? A counter-move then emerges: what is contrasted with resemblance is not the operativeness of art, but material presence, the spirit made flesh, the absolutely other which is also absolutely the same.

In paperback, 160 pages, Rs 200. ISBN 9788189059033

Political Interventions: Social Science and Political Action by Pierre Bourdieu: We must bear in mind that there is not just one racism, but several: there are as many racisms as there are groups that need to justify existing as they do—which is the invariant function of all racisms. It strikes me as very important to bring analysis to bear on those forms of racism that are undoubtedly the most subtle, the most open to misrecognition, and thus the most rarely denounced, perhaps because those who usually denounce racism themselves have some of the properties that incline people towards these forms of racism. I have in mind racism of the intelligence.

This racism is specific to a dominant class whose reproduction depends, in part, on the transmission of cultural capital, an inherited capital that has the property of being an embodied capital and thus apparently natural and innate.

In paperback, 416 pages, Rs 490 ISBN 9788189059040

Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974–75 by Michel Foucault: The figure of the masturbator appears at the end of the eighteenth century with a number of specific characteristics distinct from those of both the monster and the individual to be corrected. The first is that the masturbator is not at all an exceptional figure in eighteenth-century thought, knowledge, and pedagogical techniques; he is, rather, a frequently encountered individual. He seems to be an almost universal individual. Now this absolutely universal individual, or rather, the practice of masturbation that is recognized as being universal is, at the same time, said to be an unknown or ignored practice that no one has spoken about, that no one knows and whose secret is never revealed. Masturbation is the universal secret shared by everyone but disclosed to no one.
In paperback, 400 pages, Rs 490. ISBN 9788189059026.

Find these in our Navayana section! And by name...