And Zizek? Well ok, not as snide as Badiou. But. For example, in his Deleuze book, Organs without bodies, he writes:
‘Perhaps Jackson Pollock is the ultimate Deleuzian painter’ (p. 5)
Zizek, of course, knows full well that Deleuze himself negatively compares Pollock to Bacon. Pollock, for Deleuze, being a prime example of the kind of abstract expressionist painting that pushes the diagrammatic to such an extent that it covers the whole painting, while Bacon keeps the diagram within the figurative, which for Deleuze allows for a clear new logic of sensation (see Francis Bacon; the logic of sensation, Continuum edition, p. 74, as well as Darren Ambrose here).
It is not that the analogy falls short (it doesn’t), but that Zizek is a master of analogy and therefore wouldn’t have had much trouble finding a different one. The fact that he chooses to use Pollock – if Deleuze himself gave him as an example of a painter whose work is at odds with his philosophy – just seems in bad taste.
To me this style of writing is undesirably scornful, unkind, and malicious. I understand how Deleuze-reverence by (what Badiou once apparently called) ‘the little Deleuzians’ could get on Mr Badiou’s and Mr Zizek’s nerves. And I understand style is an integral part of content. But, precisely because style is so important, and because (I am convinced) one of the main reason these thinkers put all their hard thinking down on paper, is to make the world a better place – they could start with losing the bad-natured mean.ness. They don’t need it.