Download Head Cases: Julia Kristeva on Philosophy and Art in by Elaine P. Miller PDF

By Elaine P. Miller

Whereas philosophy and psychoanalysis privilege language and conceptual differences and distrust the picture, the thinker and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva acknowledges the facility of artwork and the mind's eye to unblock very important resources of that means. She additionally appreciates the method during which artistic acts counteract and remodel emotions of violence and depression.

Reviewing Kristeva's corpus, Elaine P. Miller considers the intellectual's "aesthetic idea" and "thought specular" of their capability to reshape depressive proposal on either the person and cultural point. She revisits Kristeva's examining of Walter Benjamin just about melancholic paintings and the imagination's allegorical constitution; her research of Byzantine iconoclasm with regards to Freud's psychoanalytic conception of negation and Hegel's dialectical negativity; her realizing of Proust as an exemplary practitioner of sublimation; her rereading of Kant and Arendt by way of artwork as an intentional lingering with foreignness; and her argument that forgiveness is either a philosophical and psychoanalytic approach to transcending a "stuck" life. targeting particular artistic endeavors that illustrate Kristeva's rules, from historical Greek tragedy to early images, modern set up artwork, and movie, Miller positions artistic acts as a sort of "spiritual inoculation" opposed to the violence of our society and its discouragement of idea and mirrored image.

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65 I argue that Kristeva views art in a contrary manner: as the attempt to safeguard the foreignness at the heart of our existence and our context. I also argue that in implicitly taking the Kantian sublime, rather than the beautiful, as a starting point for a consideration of the political (in a manner that is both derivative of and in opposition to Arendt’s attempt to cull a political philosophy from Kant’s Critique of Judgment), Kristeva gives us a way of thinking alterity as not simply an inevitable feature of human psychic identity and global citizenship but a quality to be cultivated and preserved, a sense of always being strange to ourselves.

An example of this latter tendency is the gigantic unfinished Crazy Horse statue in South Dakota, a memorial that has been under construction since 1948 and that has been surrounded by controversy. S. presidents carved into Mount Rushmore, the sculpture boasts a largerthan-life likeness of a man who refused throughout his life to be photographed and who even asked that his grave remain unmarked. The “memorial” further desecrates the nature whose destruction was an integral part of the critique of Mount Rushmore in the first place.

36 This ensures, on Fanon’s view, a seamless transition from famil- kristeva and benjamin 29 ial to civic life for any subject who has been raised in a functional family. For black culture, however, Fanon writes, it is almost exactly the opposite. ”37 This abnormality is provoked not by a return on any level to familial psychic traumas that shaped the child in infancy or childhood but rather to injections of popular white culture—which present villains, savages, and evil spirits as black—into black culture during childhood, injections that only have their full effect at a later date, when the black subject enters in a full-fledged way into the white man’s world.

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