Mladen Dolar: What’s In a Name?

Mladen Dolar_Whats in a Name_COVER

In his book-length new essay What’s in a Name? Mladen Dolar gives us a philosophical joy ride through the name and naming as well as name change of the three Janez Janšas.

A name always bears a symbolic mandate. As soon as false pretenders appear, questions arise as to the symbolic mandate’s power, its validity and justification. Names refer to genealogies, yet thereby always involve a certain distribution of power. To arrogate a name is to arrogate power. There is a claim to power in every name, in assuming the social role that goes with it, in transmitting symbolic legacy, in social impact, in genealogical inscription. The story of false pretenders entails the moment of bemusement – one’s feeling that, really, one is always a false pretender, as there’s no way one could inhabit a name legitimately, naturally, feeling fully justified bearing the name one bears. No sufficient grounds can ever substantiate it; no name is ever covered by the Leibnizian principle of sufficient reason. The feeling of being an impostor, false pretender to a name, isn’t personal sentiment or idiosyncrasy; it’s a structural feeling accompanying names – their shadow and effect.

Mladen Dolar is a Slovene philosopher, cultural theorist, film critic and expert in psychoanalysis. He was the co-founder, together with Slavoj Žižek and Rastko Močnik, of the Ljubljana school of psychoanalysis, whose main goal is to achieve a synthesis between Lacanian psychoanalysis and the philosophy of German idealism. His main fields of expertise are the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel and French structuralism.

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What’s in a Name? was published in the framework of  [FREE] Janez Janša, the triple on-line publishing initiative produced by Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, steirischer herbst, Graz and Artribune, Rome

Credits and more information about this publication HERE

Book trailer:

Book trailer #2:

Ed. Janez Janša
Black & white,
64 pages,
Perfect-bound Paperback
ISBN 978-1-312-65543-0

Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2014