talking about 'reality'...Zizek contd.

Oh how time does pass...I meant to post after class on Monday about some things I had been pondering. Please chime in if you're still interested in chatting about Zizek, etc.

I found myself wondering about how to interpret Zizek's sense of 'real' and 'reality' given the arguments of one my Media Studies main men - Stuart Hall. It's a bit confusing for me, because I seem to have a non-linear coming into understanding with regard to these issues (aka I don't really know if Zizek or Hall came first in the discourse) but I'm curious what people think Hall and Zizek would do with one another's arguments about 'reality.'

A brief summary of StuHall on reality, for those who aren't familiar: the essential Hall phrase is that 'representation is constitutive' - the ways in which stories are re-presented has effect upon the way the original event is understood, treated, remembered, etc. An elementary example: we watch the news, learn about a robbery; whether or not we were present for the event, the way the news cast pits the circumstances (who was involved, who was the victim, how the act was carried out, etc.) becomes a part of how it that we understand the robbery itself. What this means for 'reality' is that there is, in essence, no fixed 'real' space that is exempt from external construction. 'Reality' does not exist outside of the influence of representation.

Now I understand that Zizek is speaking on a very different level with regards to 'the real,' however I wonder how our defining his 'real' as "a nothing that is a something" (quote from class) is related to Hall's paradigm. If Zizek's 'real' is the void that exists outside of and precedes the symbolic order and Hall's is inherently constituted by that very discursive process, are they essentially at odds with one another? Or are the two in fact compatible, and as Zizek suggests, Hall's 'real' may only be accessed in a moment of jouissance?