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Performances for Sleepless Tyrants

Marina Warner: ‘Tales of the Marvellous’, 8 January 2015

Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange 
translated by Malcolm Lyons, introduced by Robert Irwin.
Penguin, 600 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 14 139503 6
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... which they give utterance to their afflictions forms a wild pre-verbal chorale, such as would make Julia Kristeva smile in affirmation. Here sighs and cries fall thick and fast, mingling with groans and moans, howling, wailing and mewling and, in several of the intense love stories (‘The Story of Sul and Shumul’ or of ‘Mahliya and ...

Le pauvre Sokal

John Sturrock: The Social Text Hoax, 16 July 1998

Intellectual Impostures 
by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont.
Profile, 274 pp., £9.99, October 1999, 1 86197 074 9
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... been so recklessly abducted. The thinkers pressed shoulder to shoulder in the dock here – Lacan, Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, Bruno Latour, Baudrillard, Paul Virilio, Deleuze/Guattari and one or two lesser figures – turn out not to know their mathematical arse from their physical elbow when they choose to steal food from Sokal and Bricmont’s professional ...

Plucking the Fruits of Knowledge

Linda Nochlin: The Surprising Boldness of Mary Cassatt, 15 April 1999

Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman 
edited by Judith Barter.
Abrams, 376 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 8109 4089 2
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Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women 
by Griselda Pollock.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £7.95, September 1998, 0 500 20317 2
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... print in the foreground. In her classic essay on ‘Motherhood according to Bellini’, Julia Kristeva meditates on the Virgin’s body, on its ineffability, and the way it dissolves into pure radiance. She stresses the maternal body as the site of the pre-rational, the incoherent and the inchoate. Cassatt’s portrait takes a very different ...

Don’t imagine you’re smarter

Neal Ascherson: The Informers, 19 July 2018

My Life as a Spy: Investigations in a Secret Police File 
by Katherine Verdery.
Duke, 344 pp., £20.99, May 2018, 978 0 8223 7081 9
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... show that his handler thought he was just a lying con man.) In the same way the recent fuss about Julia Kristeva boils down to nothing much, although it has suited some to inflate it into a fearful scandal. Bulgarian security files from the communist period log her as an ‘agent’ and a ‘secret collaborator’. But the reality shown in her files is ...

On His Trapeze

Michael Wood: Roland Barthes, 17 November 2016

Barthes: A Biography 
by Tiphaine Samoyault, translated by Andrew Brown.
Polity, 586 pp., £25, December 2016, 978 1 5095 0565 4
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... ready to learn – about structuralism from Greimas in Egypt, about Bakhtin and polyphony from Julia Kristeva in Paris – and always happy to recognise his debts: ‘I was surrounded by “formulators”, writers like Derrida, Sollers, Kristeva (always the same names, of course) who taught me things, persuaded ...

Not in the Mood

Adam Shatz: Derrida’s Secrets, 22 November 2012

Derrida: A Biography 
by Benoît Peeters, translated by Andrew Brown.
Polity, 629 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 0 7456 5615 1
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... at appropriation’. In 1967 Sollers had secretly married the Bulgarian literary theorist Julia Kristeva, whose career he was also keen to promote over Derrida’s. Rebuffed in their efforts to capture the cultural apparatus of the PCF, in the early 1970s Sollers and Kristeva converted to Maoism. This ...

Après the Avant Garde

Fredric Jameson, 12 December 1996

Histoire de ‘Tel Quel’, 1960-82 
by Philippe Forest.
Seuil, 656 pp., frs 180, October 1995, 2 02 017346 8
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The Time of Theory: A History of ‘Tel Quel’ (1960-83) 
by Patrick ffrench.
Oxford, 318 pp., £37.50, December 1995, 0 19 815897 1
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The Making of an Avant Garde: ‘Tel Quel’ 
by Niilo Kauppi.
Mouton de Gruyter, 516 pp., August 1994, 3 11 013952 9
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... Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations, the break with Robbe-Grillet and the New Novel, the arrival of Julia Kristeva in Paris (from Bulgaria), and finally the publication of Sollers’s ‘nouveau nouveau roman’, Drame, which announced a whole new kind of ‘textual’ literature. If we date the effective end of this avant garde with the de-Maoification of ...

Slick Chick

Elaine Showalter, 11 July 1991

The Haunting of Sylvia Plath 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Virago, 288 pp., £14.99, June 1991, 1 85381 307 9
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Passions of the Mind 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 340 pp., £17, August 1991, 0 7011 3260 4
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... and Post-Structuralist theory, will be hard-going even for those who really understand what Julia Kristeva means by ‘abjection’. It’s in her third chapter, ‘The Archive’, when Rose reviews the editing of Plath’s poems, letters and journals, the sanctioned biography by Stevenson, and the astonishingly apposite court case over the film ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland, 11 July 1991

The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... Sappho gets in, but not Patience Strong; ‘John’ Radclyffe Hall, but not Jan Morris; Julia Kristeva, but not Elizabeth David (nor Jane Grigson, nor even Mrs Beeton – writing about cooking does not rate high). Betty Friedan gets in, but not Mary Douglas; Hannah Arendt, but not Barbara Wootton. In general, journalists get a raw deal. There ...

Number One Passport

Julian Loose, 22 October 1992

Rising Sun 
by Michael Crichton.
Century, 364 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 7126 5320 1
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Off Centre: Power and Culture Relations between Japan and the United States 
by Masao Miyoshi.
Harvard, 289 pp., £22.95, December 1992, 0 674 63175 7
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Underground in Japan 
by Rey Ventura.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.99, April 1992, 0 224 03550 9
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... Miyoshi recalls a Japanese academic, a professor of modern French literature, reading the works of Julia Kristeva on the Algerian minorities in France, and exclaiming at his sudden recognition that Japan too has an Other in its midst. Miyoshi’s point is that intellectuals and politicians alike have been unwilling to face the issue raised by the ...

Spooky

Terry Eagleton, 7 July 1994

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. III: 1901-1904 
edited by John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard.
Oxford, 781 pp., £35, May 1994, 0 19 812683 2
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Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders 
by Vivian Mercier.
Oxford, 381 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 19 812074 5
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... up almost completely, along with his grammar and syntax, collapsing into a garbled semiosis which Julia Kristeva would doubtless find of interest. Maud must not marry MacBride because he is ‘one of the people’ – pretty rich from a man who made a living out of idealising the folk. Years later, Yeats will big-heartedly include MacBride in ‘Easter ...

Dive In!

Bruce Robbins: Hegelian reflections, 2 November 2000

Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in 20th-Century France 
by Judith Butler.
Columbia, 268 pp., £12, June 1999, 0 231 06451 9
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... to say about bondage in the recreational sense and, aside from a few pages at the end about Julia Kristeva and Simone de Beauvoir, was mostly indifferent to questions of sexuality. It is sexual politics that has generated Butler’s present celebrity, however, which no doubt helps explain the republication of the Hegel book – unchanged, except ...

Diary

Jonathan Dollimore: Depression Studies, 23 August 2001

... and creative endeavour goes back beyond Ficino, and in recent times has been explored by Julia Kristeva (Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia), Kay Redfield Jamison (Touched with Fire) and others. It seems that a new subjectivity is being forged from the experience of breakdown. It goes hand in hand with a sense that the depressed are ...

Normal People

Sheila Fitzpatrick: SovietSpeak, 25 May 2006

Everything Was For Ever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation 
by Alexei Yurchak.
Princeton, 331 pp., £15.95, December 2005, 0 691 12117 6
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... Homi Bhabha, Claude Lefort, Slavoj Žižek, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Lacan, Tzvetan Todorov, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler: an extraordinary range of theorists is included. Derrida, Bourdieu, Habermas, De Certeau and Althusser are not forgotten, and even Freud (though not Marx) makes it into the bibliography. We hear about Foucault on ...

Anti-Humanism

Terry Eagleton: Lawrence Sanitised, 5 February 2004

D.H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’: Post-Coloniality and the Poetry of the Present 
by Amit Chaudhuri.
Oxford, 226 pp., £20, June 2003, 0 19 926052 4
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... witness Roman Jakobson on Baudelaire, Roland Barthes on Balzac, Fredric Jameson on Conrad, Julia Kristeva on Mallarmé, Edward Said on Jane Austen, Paul de Man on Proust, Gilles Deleuze on Kafka, Gérard Genette on Flaubert, Hélène Cixous on Joyce, Harold Bloom on Wallace Stevens, J. Hillis Miller on Henry James. Some theorists are slapdash ...

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