Auschwitz as the Sinthome of Modernity: A Žižekian Reading of Harold Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes

Elias Naqipour


This study attempts to show how Harold Pinter’s literary agenda turned towards radical political intervention during the last period of his literary and political activism. In order to do this, Slavoj Žižek’s rereading of F. W. J. Von Schelling, the German Idealist philosopher, in light of the Lacanian psychoanalytic concept of sinthome will be used in order to show how Harold Pinter opted for a radical politics of negativity in Ashes to Ashes as embodied in Rebecca’s ultimate identification with the sinthome of the modern era.



Slavoj Žižek, Harold Pinter, Contraction, Expansion, Sinthome

Full Text:



Billington, Michael. (1996). The life and work of harold pinter. London: Faber and Faber.

Budick, Emily Miller. (1998). Acknowledging the holocaust in contemporary american fiction and criticism. In Efraim Sicher (Ed.), Breaking crystal: writing and memory after auschwitz (pp. 329-343). Urbana: University of Illinois.

Butler, Judith. & Ernesto Laclau. & Slavoj Žižek. (2000). De capo senzo fine. Contingency, hegemony, and universality: contemporary dialogues on the left. (pp. 213-262).London: Verso.

Butler, Rex. (2005). Slavoj žižek: live theory. New York: Continuum.

Derantaye, Leland de la. (2009). Giorgio agamben: a critical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pinter, Harold. (2001). Ashes to ashes. London: Faber and Faber Limited.

Plunka, Gene A. (2009). Holocaust drama: the theater of atrocity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pound, Marcus. (2008). Žižek: a (very) critical introduction. Cambridge: Wm B. Eerdemans Publishing Co.

Wood, Kelsey. (2012). Žižek: a reader’s guide. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Žižek, Slavoj. (1989). The sublime object of ideology. London: Verso.

Žižek, Slavoj. (1991). Looking awry: an introduction to jacques lacan through popular culture. London: The MIT Press.

Žižek, Slavoj. (1996). The indivisible remainder. London: Verso.

Žižek, Slavoj. (1999). The ticklish subject: the absent centre of political ontology. London: Verso.

Žižek, Slavoj. (2012). Less than nothing: hegel and the shadow of dialectical materialism. London: Verso.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.