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Revolution in Poetic L...
Julia Kristeva
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Revolution in Poetic Language

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  7 reviews

A lucid and creative consideration of the status and stakes of contemporary cultural criticism, it is essential reading for students of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries--and a monumental challenge to all of us. (Alice Jardine, Harvard University)

Hardcover, 271 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Columbia University Press (first published March 1st 1974)
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What can I say about this classic of (how to even classify it?) psychoanalytic, linguistic, philosophical, Marxist literary analysis? I could say that this book is alternately infuriating, challenging, sublime, and exquisite. But I imagine that you know that if you're reading these reviews. I could say that I think you should read this book...But chances are, you will if you are reading these reviews.

Instead, let me be productive for you. To understand this book, you need to have a passing famil
Kristeva's magesterial doctoral thesis for the Dr. d'´Etat in literature, she seeks to discern origins of the modern European novel and travels back to the early tradtions of the same in the later Middle Ages via the works of poets and trouvères. Kristeva breaks new ground in this study in two ways: for one, her focus on semiotics which in the early 1970s was not something considered in textural studies of the novel very much and secondly, her emphasis on non-novel (e.g., works of the trouvères) ...more
San Juan de la Cruz wrote of stammering, of babbling when in ecstatic union with a living mystical presence.

era cosa tan secreta
que me quedé balbuciendo
toda ciencia trascendiendo.

The poet would not have excluded the ecstacies of babbling babes (infants in union with the maternal form and entwined lovers cooing incoherently) from sharing in such states.

In the body-minds of yoginis and yogis, Kristeva's 'semiotic' interbreeds deliciously with tantric transcendental lokas unveiled by bija mantras
Kristeva's Chora has allot of explanatory power, and it's a decent challenge to post-enlightenment western metaphysics. Cultures recovery from the Cogito and a substantial feminist critique of culture seem to go hand in hand if you follow the account of gender given in Lewis's "The Nameless Isle". It's account of the maternal can serve as a kind of sounding board to Kristevas less-mythic-more-social observations of the Mothers function. Gender essentialism FTW.
Kristeva is undoubtedly at the forefront of psychoanalytic debate. Not easily accessible though, owing to the pragmatic translation and enormous use of appropriated terminology which is like reading a foreign language at times. Her theory of the 'subject in process' is genuinely enlightening but this is definitely a book to take your time with.
Some interesting stuff here, but I really don't have the linguistics knowledge to wrap my brain around it.
Brenden O'Donnell
my reading group decided to just go with the first part of this book. i'll continue it eventually.
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Julia Kristeva is a French psychoanalyst, sociologist, critic and philosopher. She researches on psychoanalysis of the Lacanian tradition, and has interest in semiotics. She also founded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize.
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