New Maladies of the Soul

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  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 242 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 December 1997
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0231099835
  • ISBN 13: 9780231099837
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Sales rank: 353,899

Product description

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?

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"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"

Back cover copy

"These days, who still has a soul?" asks Julia Kristeva in her latest psychoanalytic exploration, New Maladies of the Soul. Drawing on her fifteen years of experience as a practicing psychoanalyst, 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. New Maladies of the Soul poses a troubling question about the human subject in the West today: Is the psychic space that we have traditionally known disappearing? Kristeva finds that the psychoanalytic models of Freud and Lacan need to be reread in light of this new patient, a product of the contemporary moral crisis of values resulting from a loss of ideology and a deterioration of belief. By revisiting Freud and Lacan, Kristeva offers the hope of a new psychoanalysis. Each patient, she contends, suffers from a unique malady which must be targeted. In the first half of New Maladies of the Soul, Kristeva offers a series of detailed and fascinating case studies that reinforce her provocative theoretical notions. These case studies illustrate today's "new maladies" - common psychiatric disturbances such as hysteria, obsessional neurosis, and perversion - as they are manifested in today's patient. Drawing on the work of psychologist Helene Deutsch and the writer Germaine de Stael. Kristeva turns her attention in the second half of New Maladies of the Soul to women's experience and contributions within the broader context of contemporary history. Delving into art, literature, autobiography, and theories of language, she continues with an exploration of cultural products ranging from the Bible to the work of Leonardo daVinci. Julia Kristeva offers the hope that these maladies harbor new creative potential, and new hope for the soul - if we can comprehend their effect on the individual and collective experiences of our time.