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Julia Kristeva

Julia Kristeva is hoogleraar aan l'Institut Universitaire de France en werkt binnen de L'Université Paris VII - Denis Diderot. Hier bekleedt ze de leerstoel Théorie de la littérature en is ze directeur van het Centre Roland Barthes. Haar specialiteiten: literatuur van de twintigste eeuw en psychoanalyse.

Ze is in 1941 in Bulgarije geboren. In 1963 studeert ze af in de Romaanse filologie aan de universiteit van Sofia. Kerstmis 1965 arriveert ze in Parijs om daar haar promotie-onderzoek voort te zetten. Ze studeert bij Lucien Goldmann en Roland Barthes aan de Ecole Parctique des Hautes Etudes. Vanaf 1967 publiceerde ze al in de prestigieuse tijdschriften zoals Tel Quel en Critique.
Haar proefschrift verscheen in 1974 onder de titel La révolution du langage poétique. L'avantgarde à la fin de XIXe siècle: Lautréamont en Mallarmé

Ze werkte binnen de groep Parijse intellectuelen rondom het tijdschrift Tel Quel en werd al snel als de "theoretica" van deze groep gezien. Roland Barthes schreef in een artikel (La Quinzaine littéraire, 1970) het volgende over haar:

"Already greatly in Kristeva's debt, (and from the beginning), I have just experienced once more, and this time in its entirety, the force of her work. Her force means displacement. Julia Kristeva changes the place of things: she always destroys the last prejudice, the one you thought you could be reassured by, could be take pride in; what she displaces is the already-said, the déja-dit, i.e., the instance of the signified, i.e., stupidity; what she subverts is authority -the authority of monologic science, of filiation." (The Rustle of language p 168)

"The woman to whom we owe a new knowledge, from the East and from the Far East, and new instruments of analysis and commitment (paragram, dialogism, text, productivity, intertextuality, number, formula), teaches us to work in difference, i.e., above the differences in whose name we are forbidden to conjugate writing and science, History and form, the science of signs and the destruction of the sign: it is all these fine antitheses, comfortable, conformist, stubborn, and self assured, which the work of Julia Kristeva cuts across, scarring our young semiotic science with a foreign mark, in accord with the first sentence of Semeiotike: "To make language into work, to work in the materiality of what, for society, is a means of contact and of comprehension - is this not to make oneself, from the start, foreign to language?" (idem p 171)

Noëlle McFee geeft in haar Julia Kristeva, 2004 de volgende typering van haar:

"Julia Kristeva is one of the most original thinkers of our time. She is one of very few philosophers for whom the speaking being becomes a crucial constellation for understanding oral and written literature, politics and national identity, sexuality, culture, and nature. Where other thinkers might see these fields as separate domains, Kristeva shows that the speaking being is "a strange fold" between them all - a place where inner drives are discharged into language, where sexuality interplays with thought, where the body and culture meet. Under Kristeva's gaze, no border stands untouched by the forces on either side of it. To live is to be in a state of change, to be nearly under siege from a variety of forces. This is one reason why much of her work focuses on the "borderline" patients who frequent psychoanalysts' couches. They manifest the very same conditions we all do when the affective dimensions of living disrupt our even mental keel. Kristeva's work shows how what we call subjectivity is always a tenuous accomplishment, a dynamic process never completed."

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