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New Maladies of the Soul (European Perspectives


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These days, who still has a soul? asks Julia Kristeva in her psychoanalytic exploration, New Maladies of the Soul. Hailed by Peter Brooks in the New York Times as "a critic of great psychoanalytic insight," Kristeva reveals to readers a new kind of patient, symptomatic of an age of political upheaval, mass-mediated culture, and the dramatic overhaul of familial and sexual mores. The book poses a troubling question about the human subject in the West today: Is the psychic space that we have traditionally known disappearing?

About the Author

Julia Kristeva, internationally known psychoanalyst and critic, is Professor of Linguistics at the University de Paris VII. She has hosted a French television series and is the author of many critically acclaimed books published by Columbia University Press in translation, including Time and Sense: Proust and the Experience of Literature and the novel, Possessions.


"Do you have a soul?" asks the first sentence of this book, and at the end the reader is still uncertain how the author answers that question. Based on the book's title, one guesses that Kristeva (The Old Man and the Wolves, LJ 12/94; Strangers to Ourselves, LJ 4/1/91) would answer in the affirmative. But what are these new maladies? There's nothing new about the psychiatric illnesses discussed in the first half of the book‘obsession, perversions, and depression have been around for quite a while. The second half, entitled "History," rambles around world literature, with cryptic references in Lacanian doublespeak to the Bible, Madame de Staël, James Joyce, and the women's movement. A more appropriate opening might have been "Does this book have a point?" Large academic and research libraries whose patrons have postmodernist inclinations will need this book; others can skip it.‘Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wa.

"Kristeva offers a challenge for psychoanalaysis to open itself up again: to break down from its position of the one who is presumed to know." -- "International Journal of Psycho-Analysis"

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