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In Our Present-Day White Christian Culture

Jacqueline Rose: Freud and Zionism, 8 July 2004

... Ever since the fall of Baghdad, when looters went rampaging through the city, a centuries-old assumption about ‘the people’ has lurked, barely spoken, beneath the ghastly aftermath of the war. It is that the people, meaning ‘people en masse’, are incapable of restraining themselves. In the case of Iraq, two further assumptions are in play. First, people freed from the yoke of oppressive dictatorship are most at risk: the excesses of the Iraqi populace are laid at the door of Saddam Hussein at the very moment he loses his power to control them, and not, for example, seen as the responsibility of the occupying armies ...

A Use for the Stones

Jacqueline Rose: On Being Nadine Gordimer, 20 April 2006

Get a Life 
by Nadine Gordimer.
Bloomsbury, 187 pp., £16.99, November 2005, 0 7475 8175 4
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... Whether or not it will actually happen, it seems clear that America is planning its next global intervention on behalf of the new century to be in Iran. As with Iraq, the ostensible motive or pretext will be disarmament. Despite the catastrophe of the Iraqi adventure, the United States government has not wavered in its belief that the question of which countries, or rather which rulers, have the right to destroy other countries – and possibly the whole world – is one it alone must decide ...

Pointing the Finger

Jacqueline Rose: ‘The Plague’, 7 May 2020

... Ever since​ the arrival of Covid-19 – in Western Europe, roughly at the end of January – sales of Albert Camus’s The Plague, first published in 1947, have increased exponentially, an upsurge strangely in line with the graphs that daily chart the toll of the sick and the dead. By the end of March, monthly sales of the UK Penguin Classics edition had grown from the low hundreds to the mid-thousands and were rising (they are now up 1000 per cent ...

Failed State

Jacqueline Rose: David Grossman, 18 March 2004

Death as a Way of Life: Dispatches from Jerusalem 
by David Grossman.
Bloomsbury, 179 pp., £8.99, April 2003, 0 7475 6619 4
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Someone to Run With 
by David Grossman.
Bloomsbury, 374 pp., £7.99, March 2004, 9780747568124
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... to plan. And then: ‘All of a sudden, from all corners of the yard, even from the dance floor, rose the roar: "Fuck the plan.”’ Grossman is devoted to his country, but on condition, it seems, that it reach beyond just about every definition it has ever offered of itself. Gradually, or rather between the lines, a very different voice can be heard from ...

One Long Scream

Jacqueline Rose: Trauma and Justice in South Africa, 23 May 2019

... On​ 27 June 2016, Lukhanyo Calata issued a public statement about corruption at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, where he had worked as a journalist for several years. He knew that it would probably result in his dismissal. The corporation had succumbed to what has come to be known in South Africa as ‘state capture’: working in the interests of Zuma’s government, which had itself been captured by big business ...

To Die One’s Own Death

Jacqueline Rose, 19 November 2020

... I want to know why we, like upside-down sunflowers, turn to the dark side rather than the light.Rachael Berdach,The Emperor, the Sages and Death (1938)What​ is left of the inner life when the world turns more cruel, or appears to turn more cruel, than ever before? When it reels from inflicted blows – pandemic, war, starvation, climate devastation or all these together – what happens to the fabric of the mind? Is its only option defensive – to batten down the hatches, to haul up the drawbridge, or simply to survive? And does that leave room to grieve, not just for those who have been lost, but for the broken pieces and muddled fragments that make us who we are? Barely six months after the outbreak of the First World War, on Christmas Day 1914, Freud wrote to Ernest Jones to lament that the psychoanalytic movement ‘is now perishing in the strife of nations’ (the two men were on opposite sides in the war ...

Mothers

Jacqueline Rose, 19 June 2014

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women 
by Elisabeth Badinter, translated by Adriana Hunter.
Picador, 224 pp., £10.99, June 2013, 978 1 250 03209 6
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Are You My Mother? 
by Alison Bechdel.
Jonathan Cape, 304 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 0 224 09352 1
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A Child of One’s Own: Parental Stories 
by Rachel Bowlby.
Oxford, 256 pp., £20, June 2013, 978 0 19 960794 5
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Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome 
by Lauren Hackworth Petersen and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell.
Texas, 274 pp., £16.99, April 2013, 978 0 292 75434 8
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Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in 20th-Century England 
by Pat Thane and Tanya Evans.
Oxford, 240 pp., £24.99, August 2013, 978 0 19 968198 3
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I Don’t Know Why She Bothers: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Womanhood 
by Daisy Waugh.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, July 2013, 978 0 297 86876 7
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... rebuke to the ideal. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of single mothers in this country rose faster than at any other time in history, seemingly unaffected by an increasingly strident Conservative rhetoric of blame. The most pervasive image was of an unemployed teenager who had deliberately got herself pregnant in order to claim benefits, although ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... distinguished her from every other celebrity he had ever met. Most simply, however high her star rose, Monroe never let go of her roots. ‘I would have never thought that our ordinary lives would have interested someone like her but they did,’ Lena Pepitone, her personal maid in the last years of her life, said in Marilyn Monroe – Confidential, written ...

I am a knife

Jacqueline Rose: A Woman’s Agency, 22 February 2018

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus 
by Vanessa Grigoriadis.
Houghton Mifflin, 332 pp., £20, September 2017, 978 0 544 70255 4
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Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus 
by Laura Kipnis.
HarperCollins, 245 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 06 265786 2
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Living a Feminist Life 
by Sara Ahmed.
Duke, 312 pp., £20.99, February 2017, 978 0 8223 6319 4
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 288 pp., £13.99, July 2017, 978 1 4721 5111 7
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Difficult Women 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 272 pp., £13.99, January 2017, 978 1 4721 5277 0
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... of rapes recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on which their attention was focused, rose in the following year and hasn’t significantly decreased since. It is just one facet of this ugly reality – one more thing to contend with – that while attention to violence against women may be sparked by anger and a desire for redress, it might also ...

A Piece of White Silk

Jacqueline Rose: Honour Killing, 5 November 2009

Murder in the Name of Honour 
by Rana Husseini.
Oneworld, 250 pp., £12.99, May 2009, 978 1 85168 524 0
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In Honour of Fadime: Murder and Shame 
by Unni Wikan, translated by Anna Paterson.
Chicago, 305 pp., £12.50, June 2008, 978 0 226 89686 1
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Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed 
by Ayse Onal.
Saqi, 256 pp., £12.99, May 2008, 978 0 86356 617 2
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... The term ‘honour killing’ entered the British legal system in 2003, when Abdullah Yones pleaded guilty to killing his 16-year-old daughter Heshu. Accounts of the case vary but certain facts are clear. The family had fled Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991 – in London the father worked as a volunteer for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. At the William Morris Academy in Hammersmith, where she was a pupil, Heshu repeatedly expressed her fear of a forced marriage, but teachers ignored her ...

Bantu in the Bathroom

Jacqueline Rose, 19 November 2015

... On 3 March​ 2014, the first day in the trial of Oscar Pistorius for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa made her way across courtroom GD at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria slowly and haltingly. She suffers from severe arthritis and for the duration of the trial she sat on an orthopaedic chair, much smaller than the vast leather seats of the two assessors on either side ...

Who do you think you are?

Jacqueline Rose: Trans Narratives, 5 May 2016

... 2009 to 2014, the number of cases referred to the Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Service rose from 97 to 697. Transgender children in the UK today have the option of delaying puberty by taking hormone blockers; they can take cross-sex hormones from 16 and opt for sex reassignment surgery from the age of 18. Cassie Wilson’s daughter Melanie ...

Memories of Frank Kermode

Stefan Collini, Karl Miller, Adam Phillips, Jacqueline Rose, James Wood, Michael Wood and Wynne Godley, 23 September 2010

... yourself in the material, and the book will write itself.’ Which I did, and it did. Jacqueline Rose writes: It seems, rereading him now, that he was always, directly or indirectly, writing about survival. That the form of attention he conferred on literary objects was designed above all to allow them, and himself, to survive. What is it ...

Homelessness

Terry Eagleton, 20 June 1996

States of Fantasy 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Oxford, 183 pp., £20, March 1996, 0 19 818280 5
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... the Third World. Post-Structuralists have turned to Africa and the Caribbean; the feminist critic Jacqueline Rose, who is also Jewish, has turned in this collection of Clarendon Lectures to Israel and South Africa; and the odd middle-aged Marxist has discovered a stomping-ground in Ireland, which if not exactly Third World hovers somewhere around the ...

Ruin and Redemption

David Simpson: Psychoanalysing Zionism, 23 June 2005

The Question of Zion 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Princeton, 202 pp., £12.95, April 2005, 0 691 11750 0
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... Jacqueline Rose has written a timely and courageous book. One immediate sign of this is its dedication to the late Edward Said, and its rewriting of the title of one of his most important books, The Question of Palestine (1980). To write ‘as a Jewish woman’ and in homage to Said about the failures of the Israeli state will surely inspire some of the hate mail that Said himself received for more than thirty years as the major Western explicator of Palestinian history and Palestinian rights ...

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