Reading Kristeva: unraveling the double-bind

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Indiana University Press, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 218 pages
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“ . . . a thorough, detailed, and critical analysis of the writings of Julia Kristeva.” —Elizabeth Grosz The complex and provocative theories of the French philosopher and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva are clearly and thoroughly explicated by Kelly Oliver in this first full-scale feminist interpretation of Kristeva’s work. Situating Kristeva within the context of French feminism, Oliver guides her readers through Kristeva’s intellectual formation in linguistics, Freud, Lacan, and poetics. Oliver’s readings of Kristeva indicate ways in which controversial concepts such as the semiotic, abjection, the maternal function, herethics, and the imaginary father can be useful for feminist theory. Oliver shows that Kristeva’s writings attempt to unravel the double-bind between static identity, or totalitarianism, on the one hand, and the complete loss of identity, or delirium, on the other. This comprehensive introduction to Kristeva makes accessible her important contributions to philosophy, linguistics, and psychoanalytic feminism.

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The Prodigal Child
The Abject Mother
Politics in the Age of Propaganda

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About the author (1993)

Kelly Oliver is W. Alton Jones Chair of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Her publications include The Colonization of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Social Theory (2004) and Noir Anxiety: Race, Sex and Maternity in Film Noir, co-authored with Benigno Trigo (2002).
Lisa Walsh is a Lecturer in French at Nottingham Trent University. Her publications include Subjects of Love and Desire: Readings in Maternity and Ethicity (forthcoming).

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