Julia Kristeva, herself a product of the famous May '68 Paris student uprising, has long been fascinated by the concept of rebellion and revolution. Psychoanalysts believe that rebellion guarantees our independence and creative capacities, but is revolution still possible? Confronted with the culture of entertainment, can we build and nurture a culture of revolt, in the etymological and Proustian sense of the word: an unveiling, a return, a displacement, a reconstruction of the past, of memory, of meaning? In the first part of the book, Kristeva examines the manner in which three of the most unsettling modern writers—Aragon, Sartre, and Barthes—affirm their personal rebellion.
In the second part of the book, Kristeva ponders the future of rebellion. She maintains that the “new world order” is not favorable to revolt. “What can we revolt against if power is vacant and values corrupt?” she asks. Not only is political revolt mired in compromise among parties whose differences are less and less obvious, but an essential component of European culture—a culture of doubt and criticism—is losing its moral and aesthetic impact.
"Kristeva . . . follows up The Sense and Non-Sense of Revolt with this important, interdisciplinary tour de force." — Library Journal
"The reader will encounter in these pages the literary music of allusive, profound passages that uniquely characterize the expression of Kristeva's thoughts." — Choice
"Kristeva's work is an intricate mix of cultural criticism and psychoanalysis. . . . Kristeva's call to return to the intimate is salutory in a world given over to the dictates of production and consumption alone. The comments on patriotism, nationalism, hospitality and cosmopolitanism are politically astute and ethically humanist." — Pramod K. Nayar, Philosophy in Review
Chapter 1. What Revolt Today?
The Dignity of Revolt (The Novel)
Man in Revolt (Retrospective Return)
Revolt as Jouissance and Dispersion (Psychoanalysis)
Negativity in Revolt (Philosophy and...Freud)
Paradoxical Logics (Resistances to Psychoanalysis)
Intimacy in Revolt (The Imaginary)
Chapter 2. Can Forgiveness Heal?
The Trilogy of Evil
Donation or Sadness
The Consciousness of Fault (Heidegger and Freud)
Against Guilt: Rebirth
The Poiesis of Interpretation
Depression at the Edge of Words (the Story of Anne)
Chapter 3. The Scandal of the Timeless
Psychoanalysis is not Intersubjectivity
The Subversion of Temporality
The Freudian Scandal
Three Figures of the Analytical Timeless: 1. The Memory-Trace (Erinnerungsspur or Errinnerungrest), Working-through (Durcharbeitung), The Dissolution of Transference-Homo natura and Homo analyticus
Chapter 4. The Intimate: from Sense to the Sensible (Logics, Jouissance, Style)
Once more, On the Soul (organic, animal, general)
Images, loquela, Jouissance (Augustine, Loyola, Sade)
Psychical Life as Jouissance
Science and Experience: Counter-transference
The Taste for the Singular Life (Style)
Plato's Cave Hides a Sensory Cave
The "Second Dwelling" (Proust's Dream)
Writing, Therapy, Beauty
Between word-signs and word fetishes: Interpretation
Chapter 5. Fantasy and Cinema
Organisms of Mixed Race (Didier, the Collages Man)
Fear and Spectacular Seduction
Fantasy and the Imaginary: The Specular
The Representable Conflict
Cinema and Evil
Chapter 6. Barthes: The Savor of Disenchantment
A Position: Writing Against
Modern Man in all his States: Vices and Affections
Myth: A Type of Speech Chosen by History
Chapter 7. Barthes: Constructor of Language, Constructor of the Sensory
The Spiritual Exercises of Loyola
Who is the Subject of this Polyphony?
Indifference and Suspension
Chapter 8. Barthes: The Intractable Lover
The Jardin du Luxembourg
Sensory vs. Sexual: The New Lovers
N. W. P.: The Non-will-to-possess
Chapter 9. Sartre: The Imaginary and Nothingness
The Fatal Freedom of Consciousness
Negativity, "I," "Bad Faith"
Who is of Bad Faith? or, Atheism
The Realized Imaginary: The Totalizing Spectacle
Chapter 10. Sartre: Freedom as Questioning
Negation at its Origin
Symbolic Castration: A Question (The Story of Martine)
Before Judgment: Repulsion or Freedom?
The Freudian Attempt to Articulate the Drive and the Symbol
Childhood: Self-Destruction or the Power of Words: The Words
Chapter 11. Sartre: Again, the Imaginary, Fantasy, Spectacle
The Mental Image: Virtual Nonbelief
The Consubstantiality of Image and Thought
Lack or Lie?
Body and Image: From Hallucination to Fantasy
Back to the Unconscious
Chapter 12. Giving the Game Away out of Anticipation
From the Political to the Intimate, from the Feminine to the Impossible
What's it about?
Why "Blanche"? The Woman and the Linguist
"Gaiffier! Gaiffier! Go back to your place. Where is he?"
"And then I realized the trickery..."
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Julia Kristeva is a practicing psychoanalyst and professor of linguistics at the University of Paris. She is the author of many acclaimed books, including, most recently, Hannah Arendt and Melanie Klein. She lives in Paris. Jeanine Herman is a translator who lives in New York City.