In his introduction to First as Tragedy, then as Farce (2009), Žižek refers to the beginning of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire, where Marx astutely observes that “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great events and characters of world history occur, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” (146).

The tragedy referred to in Žižek’s title is September 11, 2001; the farce is the financial meltdown of 2008. The ideological fantasy of a liberal-democratic, global capitalist utopia died its first (tragic) death on September 11, 2001; then it died its second (farcical) death with the financial meltdown of 2008. In numerous works, Žižek argues that we …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Wood, Kelsey. "First As Tragedy, Then As Farce". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 February 2013
[, accessed 04 October 2015.]