Abstract
Mis-readings are not necessarily detrimental, Slavoj Žižek has interestingly argued. In this article, we investigate a mis-reading by the hand of Žižek himself. José Saramago’s intriguing novel Seeing, that tells the story of the massive casting of blank ballots by the population and its political implications, has frequently been mentioned in some of Slavoj Žižek recent work. However, not once has Žižek offered his readers the correct message present in the plot of Seeing. But how do have to interpret this non-detrimental misreading? After having proposed a brief summary of Seeing’s plot and the various versions offered of it by Žižek, this article attempts to demonstrate and explain why Slavoj Žižek could not have not mis-read Saramago’s novel. Žižek’s understanding of a ‘revolution’ does not allow him to fully understand Saramago’s blank ballot vote – it being a valid non-vote, a positive negative. The article concludes with an ‘appeal’ to fully understand the revolutionary (political) power of the blank ballot in times of the democratic relic we are living in
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