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Time of the Assassin

Michael Wood, 26 January 1995

Proust and the Sense of Time 
by Julia Kristeva, translated by Stephen Bann.
Faber, 103 pp., £20, July 1993, 0 571 16880 9
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Le Temps sensible: Proust et l’expérience littéraire 
by Julia Kristeva.
Gallimard, 451 pp., January 1995, 2 07 073116 2
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The Old Man and the Wolves 
by Julia Kristeva, translated by Barbara Bray.
Columbia, 183 pp., £15, January 1995, 0 231 08020 4
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... And so,’ Bréhal said, ‘love would be time become available to the senses.’ Julia Kristeva, Les Samouraïs The genuine charm and considerable strength of Julia Kristeva’s writing are inseparable from a certain solemnity and excess of diligence, a heavy shadow that dogs her like an obligation ...

What is there to lose?

Adam Phillips, 24 May 1990

Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia 
by Julia Kristeva, translated by Leon Roudiez.
Columbia, 300 pp., $33.50, October 1989, 0 231 06706 2
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Surviving trauma: Loss, Literature and Psychoanalysis 
by David Aberbach.
Yale, 192 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 300 04557 3
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... extremely tricky). And yet it is surely at its most compelling, as it is in the work of Julia Kristeva – who came to psychoanalysis from linguistics – when it knows itself to be in a world of complementary and not only competitive languages. In Kristeva’s writing, despite the sometimes tortuous ...

Mallarmé gets a life

Barbara Johnson, 18 August 1994

Mallarmé: A Throw of the Dice 
by Gordon Millan.
Secker, 389 pp., £16.99, March 1994, 9780436270963
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... We have had analyses of his work by Charles Mauron, Jean-Pierre Richard, Robert Greer Cohn, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Leo Bersani, Malcolm Bowie and others. It might seem surprising, therefore, not to find a single full-length biography published between Henri Mondor’s 1941 Vie de Mallarmé and Gordon Millan’s Mallarmé: A ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Telly, 9 August 2001

... have provided sufficient ‘human interest’ to distract the headlines’ attention; but no. Julia Kristeva has defended the French version, Loft Story, on the grounds that ‘in the past there was the family, the grandmother, the Church … But now these spaces of communication have vanished.’ I find it hard to think of my grandmothers as ...


Hal Foster: Cindy Sherman, 10 May 2012

... body, which is the primary site of ‘the abject’ as well, a liminal category defined by Julia Kristeva as neither subject nor object and thus charged with intense ambivalence. Sherman evokes this extreme state in scenes suffused with signifiers of menstrual blood and sexual discharge, vomit and shit. The domain of her so-called civil war and ...

Lucky Boy

Kevin Kopelson, 3 April 1997

directed by Scott Hicks.
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Shine: The Screenplay 
by Jan Sardi.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £7.99, January 1997, 0 7475 3173 0
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The Book of David 
by Beverley Eley.
HarperCollins, 285 pp., £8.99, March 1997, 0 207 19105 0
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Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott 
by Gillian Helfgott, with Alissa Tanskaya.
Penguin, 337 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 14 026546 5
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... always, I will – didn’t I?’ His nearly final word, self-directed, is: ‘Stupstraight’. Julia Kristeva might call Helfgott’s way with words ‘semiotic’. Richard Alleva, in Commonweal, calls him ‘a manic babbler whose logical skips and leaps, wisecracks, speed-freak stutterings and surreal wordplays compose a weirdly poetic ...

Just a Devil

Michael Wood: Kristeva on Dosto, 3 December 2020

by Julia Kristeva.
Buchet/Chastel, 256 pp., €14, March, 978 2 283 03040 0
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At the Risk of Thinking: An Intellectual Biography of Julia Kristeva 
by Alice Jardine.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £19.99, January, 978 1 5013 4133 5
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... Julia Kristeva’s​ book on Dostoevsky appears in a series from Buchet/Chastel called ‘Les Auteurs de ma vie’. Earlier titles included works by Stefan Zweig on Tolstoy, Thomas Mann on Schopenhauer, Paul Valéry on Descartes, and contributions from living writers such as Marie-Hélène Lafon (on Flaubert) and Michel Schneider (on Pascal ...

Thinking Women

Jane Miller, 6 November 1986

... of What is feminism?, for instance, and from the same publisher, comes Toril Moi’s The Kristeva Reader.2 The books could be said to represent antithetical strands of current feminist work. At its worst, What is feminism? has too much honing of watertight definitions of feminism and too much reworking of old research topics which have already ...

Saucy to Princes

Gerald Hammond: The Bible, 25 July 2002

The Book: A History of the Bible 
by Christopher de Hamel.
Phaidon, 352 pp., £24.95, September 2001, 0 7148 3774 1
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The Wycliffe New Testament 1388 
edited by W.R. Cooper.
British Library, 528 pp., £20, May 2002, 0 7123 4728 3
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... Julia Kristeva was in Manchester in March to give a lecture. One of the pleasures of her visit, for me, the day after the lecture and en route to the Manchester United superstore, was to accompany her on a tour of the Deansgate branch of the John Rylands University Library. Mrs Rylands, the extraordinary founder of the collection, was particularly keen on Bibles, and among the many Biblical treasures is a tiny triangular fragment of the text of St John’s Gospel, catalogued as Gr ...

Episteme, My Arse

Christopher Tayler: Laurent Binet, 15 June 2017

The Seventh Function of Language 
by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor.
Harvill Secker, 390 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 910701 58 4
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... struck – and still strikes – his friend Philippe Sollers as suspicious. Sollers and his wife, Julia Kristeva, swept into the hospital and made, by all accounts, a bit of a scene. Had news of Barthes’s condition been held up by a conspiracy to stop people getting the idea that Mitterrand had put the evil eye on him? Did the staff even know what a ...

Hungry Ghosts

Paul Connerton, 19 April 1990

Fragments for a History of the Human Body, Parts I-III 
edited by Michel Feher, Ramona Naddaff and Nadia Tazi.
Zone, 480 pp., £35.95, May 1989, 0 942299 25 6
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... respect not only to the Crucifixion but also to the doctrines of the Incarnation and Resurrection. Julia Kristeva, in a beguiling examination of Holbein’s representation of the dead Christ, argues for the centrality of severance in the psychic life of the individual; in particular, she argues that Christian theology has a representation of severance at ...


Donald Davie, 11 June 1992

In the Circumstances: About Poems and Poets 
by Peter Robinson.
Oxford, 260 pp., £35, May 1992, 0 19 811248 3
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... and thereby, though in other ways too, old-fashioned. Thus his psychologist is Melanie Klein, not Julia Kristeva; and his philosopher is Bernard Williams, not you-know who. So, too, his prose at its worst recalls Raymond Williams, for whom, ideologically, he has no time. More pertinently, there are no jokes, or none that I can see. This gets to seem ...

Watermonster Blues

William Wootten: Edwin Morgan, 18 November 2004

Edwin Morgan: Inventions of Modernity 
by Colin Nicholson.
Manchester, 216 pp., £40, October 2002, 0 7190 6360 4
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translated by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 118 pp., £6.95, November 2002, 1 85754 588 5
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by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 128 pp., £6.95, November 2002, 1 85754 617 2
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... political radicalism, his belief in modernity and his homosexuality, helped along by references to Julia Kristeva, Guy Debord and the like, couched in cluttered criticalese; but he leaves it unclear how Morgan’s beliefs have determined his poetics. Reading Morgan’s most recent collection, Cathures (the old name for Glasgow), alongside the reissue of ...

Family Business

Fred Halliday, 17 July 1997

... of the orthodox Islamic position to studies of ‘women and discourse’, replete with quotes from Julia Kristeva, Marilyn French and Laura Mulvey. The official Saudi obsession with control produces visible tensions. An example is the restriction on representation of the human form in the media. It has no Koranic authority, but, in Saudi Arabia and, in an ...

Is there another place from which the dickhead’s self can speak?

Marina Warner: The body and law, 1 October 1998

Bodies of Law 
by Alan Hyde.
Princeton, 290 pp., £39.50, July 1997, 0 691 01229 6
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... of that rare emerging species, the male feminist, and above all, he invokes Monique Wittig and Julia Kristeva, and heats the whole by the halogen sparkle of the superanovae of the American cultural empyrean – Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Patricia J. Williams, Catherine MacKinnon. ‘Can we conceptualise people as people in relations?’ he ...

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