The Severed Head: Capital Visions (European Perspectives)

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It has also been suggested e. After abjecting the mother, subjects retain an unconscious fascination with the semiotic, desiring to reunite with the mother, while at the same time fearing the loss of identity that accompanies it. Slasher films thus provide a way for audience members to safely reenact the process of abjection by vicariously expelling and destroying the mother figure. Kristeva's idea of the chora has been interpreted in several ways: as a reference to the uterus, as a metaphor for the relationship between the mother and child, and as the temporal period preceding the Mirror Stage.

In her essay Motherhood According to Giovanni Bellini from Desire in Language , Kristeva refers to the chora as a "non-expressive totality formed by drives and their stases in a motility that is full of movement as it is regulated. Kristeva is also noted for her work on the concept of intertextuality.

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Kristeva argues that anthropology and psychology , or the connection between the social and the subject, do not represent each other, but rather follow the same logic: the survival of the group and the subject. In her comparison between the two disciplines, Kristeva claims that the way in which an individual excludes the abject mother as a means of forming an identity, is the same way in which societies are constructed.

On a broader scale, cultures exclude the maternal and the feminine, and by this come into being. Kristeva made a famous disambiguation of three types of feminism in "Women's Time" in New Maladies of the Soul ; while rejecting the first two types, including that of Beauvoir, her stands are sometimes considered rejecting feminism altogether.


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Kristeva proposed the idea of multiple sexual identities against the joined code [ clarification needed ] of "unified feminine language". Kristeva argues her writings have been misunderstood by American feminist academics.

The Severed Head | Columbia University Press

In Kristeva's view, it was not enough simply to dissect the structure of language in order to find its hidden meaning. Language should also be viewed through the prisms of history and of individual psychic and sexual experiences. This post-structuralist approach enabled specific social groups to trace the source of their oppression to the very language they used.

However, Kristeva believes that it is harmful to posit collective identity above individual identity, and that this political assertion of sexual, ethnic, and religious identities is ultimately totalitarian. Kristeva wrote a number of novels that resemble detective stories.

While the books maintain narrative suspense and develop a stylized surface, her readers also encounter ideas intrinsic to her theoretical projects. Her characters reveal themselves mainly through psychological devices, making her type of fiction mostly resemble the later work of Dostoevsky. Her fictional oeuvre, which includes The Old Man and the Wolves , Murder in Byzantium , and Possessions , while often allegorical, also approaches the autobiographical in some passages, especially with one of the protagonists of Possessions , Stephanie Delacour—a French journalist—who can be seen as Kristeva's alter ego.

Murder in Byzantium deals with themes from orthodox Christianity and politics; she referred to it as "a kind of anti- Da Vinci Code ". For her "innovative explorations of questions on the intersection of language, culture and literature", Kristeva was awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize in Roman Jakobson said that "Both readers and listeners, whether agreeing or in stubborn disagreement with Julia Kristeva, feel indeed attracted to her contagious voice and to her genuine gift of questioning generally adopted 'axioms,' and her contrary gift of releasing various 'damned questions' from their traditional question marks.

Ian Almond criticizes Kristeva's ethnocentrism. He cites Gayatri Spivak 's conclusion that Kristeva's book About Chinese Women "belongs to that very eighteenth century [that] Kristeva scorns" after pinpointing "the brief, expansive, often completely ungrounded way in which she writes about two thousand years of a culture she is unfamiliar with". In Intellectual Impostures , physics professors Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont devote a chapter to Kristeva's use of mathematics in her writings.

They argue that Kristeva fails to show the relevance of the mathematical concepts she discusses to linguistics and the other fields she studies, and that no such relevance exists. In , Bulgaria's state Dossier Commission announced that Kristeva had been an agent for the Committee for State Security under the code name "Sabina".

She was supposedly recruited in June Under the Communist regime, any Bulgarian who wanted to travel abroad had to apply for an exit visa and get an approval from the Ministry of Interior. The process was long and difficult because anyone who made it to the west could declare political asylum. Neal Ascherson wrote: " But the reality shown in her files is trivial. After settling in Paris in , she was cornered by Bulgarian spooks who pointed out to her that she still had a vulnerable family in the home country.

The Bulgarian security men seem to have known they were being played. But never mind: they could impress their boss by showing him a real international celeb on their books From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Julia Kristeva. Sliven , Bulgaria. Kristeva interprets these "capital visions" through the lens of psychoanalysis, drawing infinite connections between their manifestation and sacred experience and very much affirming the possibility of the sacred, even in an era of "faceless" interaction.

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