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The Kristeva Reader Paperback – 29 Oct 1986


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"It has been apprarent for some time that Julia Kristeva has inherited the intellectual throne left vacant by the death of Simone de Beauvoir." -- Elaine Showalter

From the Back Cover

Julia Kristeva is one of Europe′s most brilliant and original theorists, widely acclaimed for her work in such diverse areas as linguistics, psychoanalysis, literary and political theory. The Kristeva Reader is a fully–comprehensive, easily accessible introduction to her work in English, containing a wide range of essays from all phases of Kristeva′s career. The essays have been carefully selected as representative of the three main areas of her writing – semiotics, psychoanalysis and political theory – and each is prefaced by a clear, instructive introduction. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
'The System and the Speaking Subject' first appeared in the Times Literary Supplement (12 October 1973, pp. 1249-52), and was reprinted in Thomas A. sebeok (ed.), the Tell Tale Sign. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Celebrating Language and Thought 27 May 2000
By Karen Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Kristeva Reader is a good, even great, introduction to the work of Julia Kristeva. Some of Kristeva's most important works are brilliantly exerpted in readable prose by Toril Moi. Lovers of linguistics, rhetoric, literary theory, and psychology will find Kristeva's work compelling. One interesting aspect of the text is that it offers the reader a glimpse into the creative process. In an early essay, "Word, Dialogue, and Novel," Kristeva responds to the theory of Mikhail Bakhtin. Her later essay, "Revolution in Poetic Language," shows the evolution of Kristeva's language theory. Unfortunately, in order to make Kristeva accessible, Moi had to make some difficult choices in her editing. A serious scholar will undoubtedly find herself looking for the complete essays in another text.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A deep look into language, religion and... 12 Sept. 2000
By Jane Sandorf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
...abjection (If you also read 'Powers of Horror' by Kristeva) Quite comprehensive altough it would be hard to make a choice in the work of Kristeva. Kristeva's work focuses heavily on semiotics and women's role in politics and religion. Many of the theories will stir the soul, especially 'Stabat Mater' if you grew up forced into any european or western dogma. 'Women's Time' is a good possible evaluation of women and politics. Freud gets thrown into this in a very different manner than one expects, which leaves us to wonder, is Kristeva supporting the old 'Dr.' or not?
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Changed my life 17 Oct. 2002
By Lindsey Roche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of my most cherished volumes of critical theory. Any self-respecting lit student should own this tome, and read it carefully. Many useful pieces for different scenarios.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
why freedom instead of more thinking? 2 Oct. 2014
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was raised in a rustic stupidity that felt superior, like the apostle Paul, to the kind of thinking that considers drifting helplessly like waste the kind of useless expense that would attract the marginal thinking of millionaires, billionaires, and floating turds. What people are afraid to say is what Julia Kristeva calls:

The proof lies in its silence, in its expenditure of exuberant activity. (p. 291).

An interview called Why the United States? is translated from a discussion with Marcelin Pleynet and Phillippe Sollers published in 1977, in which Sollers observed:

It's very obvious that in American society,
signifiers of money and sexual signifiers
have a presence and a capacity for
repetition that is far greater than elsewhere. (p. 288).

Reading as a chore that has to be taught in school is being surpassed like the artisan, occultish-rustic stupidity that limited art appreciation to the style of a particular time and space imposing authority over what people could do as part of an ongoing community. Our leap from faith into urban multiplicity is already blending ourselves with apocalyptic literature. Julia Kristeva's reactions to the United States includes:

you do have a common discourse
haunted by the demonic (p. 288).

As a Freudian expert in the humor of the Vietnam war, I felt special rejection in comparison with the Roman:

veni, vidi, vici (Julius Caesar)

I came, I saw, I was extraliminated (who called the Saint Paul Police Department this time?)

But the eruption of pornography . . .
etc. . . . produces its own particular
chapels and dead ends. (p. 279).

People in the United States do not control a language for saying what they think:

because they have no language,
since English, in America, is a code.
Can psychoanalysis be implanted
in a code? It's a shame, in fact it's
a great disaster, the PLAGUE as Freud said. (p. 279).

We can only find displaced memory because there's no mainstream. (see p. 281).

People who have tried to create real history produce a completely academic cultural anachronism. (p. 283).

In 1977, Julia Kristeva was worried about becoming too idiosyncratic (p. 273). She had gone to China to experience how breaks within history can occupy the thoughts of so many people, but only saw it as:

an anarchist outbreak within Marxism (p. 273).

America is too large to unite. It grows in opposition to what exists anywhere:

For each opposition an enclave is created
where it stagnates. (p. 274).

A split history produces all the flashes of psychosis. Non-truth does not increase its influence as much as everywhere else. Just mentioning anything in a wilted two power pornography can produce an anti-intellectual witch-hunt. (See p. 277).

Because Julia Kristeva was taught a very Marxist Russian language as she was growing up, she was one of the first people to introduce French intellectuals to the literary criticism of Mikhail Bakhtin. An English translation of her French publication on how deeply semiotics becomes intertextual with culture forsaking itself in order to go beyond itself appears early in this book. It shows her familiarity with Bakhtin's Problems in Dostoevsky's Poetics.
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