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Colette (European Perspectives


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The third book in Kristeva's trilogy on female genius,Colette interlaces commentary on the life and work of this notorious French novelist who made it possible for women to write erotic literature. The result is an elegant and sophisticated critique filled with psychoanalytic insight.

About the Author

Julia Kristeva is professor of linguistics at the University of Paris VII. A world-renowned psychoanalyst and literary theorist, she is the author of many books, including Hannah Arendtand Melanie Klein (both published by Columbia). Jane Marie Todd is a translator living in Portland, Oregon. She has published some thirty translations, including Catherine Clement and Julia Kristeva's The Feminine and the Sacred (Columbia).


French writer Colette's last word was "look." Perhaps it should have been "devour," for she lived voluptuously. Colette did not want simply a glimpse of life but a firm grasp of it. She was married three times, participated in an aristocratic Parisian lesbian subculture, and wrote for World War II Vichy journals while trying to prevent her third husband (a Jew) from being deported. This scholarly biography, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Colette's death, is not a scandal sheet but a psychoanalysis of Colette in which Kristeva (linguistics, Univ. of Paris VII) uses psycholinguistics to explore the author's work and life. Together with Kristeva's previous biographies of Hannah Arendt and Melanie Klein, it forms the "Female Genius: Life, Madness, Words" trilogy. Like the other two, this book offers writing too dense for lay readers and will appeal only to scholars, who will benefit from Kristeva's insights into Colette's work. Recommended for academic libraries.-Bob Ivey, Univ. of Memphis Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

This scholarly biography, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Colette's death, is not a scandal sheet but a psychoanalysis of Colette in which Kristeva uses psycholinguistics to explore the author's work and life... Recommended for academic libraries. Library Journal Persuasive and entertaining. As an account of how Colette's writing works through vivid and sexualized metaphor, it's quite superb... Kristeva and Colette are a brilliant coupling. The Times (London) part psychoanalysis, part apologia--all based in love. -- Julia Balen Women's Review of Books A major study on a figure who remains one of France's most underrated writers. -- Julien Bisson France Today This is a wonderful book by one of the finest minds of our time. -- Michael Payne Daily Item

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