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LIVE from the NYPL: Violence & the Left in Dark Times: Bernard-Henri Levy & Slavoj Zizek

September 16, 2008

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Bernard-Henri Lévy, France's "rock-star philosopher," and Slavoj Žižek, the Slovanian "Elvis of cultural theory," will scrutinize the totalitarianisms of the past as well as those of the future, as they argue for a new political and moral vision for our times and investigate the limits of tolerance.

Does the advent of capitalism cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of the neighbor? asks Žižek in Violence: Six Sideways Reflections.

Are human rights Western or Universal? How is it that progressives themselves-those who in the past defended individual rights and fought fascism-have now become the breeding ground for new kinds of dangerous attitudes? asks Lévy in Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against New Barbarism.

 

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photo of Bernard-Henri Lévy by JC Marmara and photo of Slavoj ?i?ek by ? Steve Pyke

About Bernard-Henri Lévy

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, journalist, activist, and filmmaker. He was hailed by Vanity Fair magazine as ?Superman and prophet: we have no equivalent in the United States.? Among his dozens of books are American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications throughout Europe and the United States. His films include the documentaries Bosna! and A Day in the Death of Sarajevo. Lévy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racism and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.

  

 

 

About Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek's work triggers continuous controversy; Welcome to the Desert of the Real, his analysis of 9/11, was attacked both as anti-Semitic in Israel and as Zionist in Egypt. He is the author of more than thirty books and is the subject of the documentary Žižek!. His own critically acclaimed documentary, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, was the subject of a film retrospective in 2007 at the Museum of Modern Art. Žižek is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, Princeton, and The New School.

 

  

 

About Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber is the Director of Public Programs now known as "LIVE from the NYPL" for The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library.