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Hatred and Forgiveness

Hatred and Forgiveness

JULIA KRISTEVA
TRANSLATED BY JEANINE HERMAN
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/kris14324
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  • Book Info
    Hatred and Forgiveness
    Book Description:

    Julia Kristeva refracts the impulse to hate (and our attempts to subvert, sublimate, and otherwise process it) through psychoanalysis and text, exploring worlds, women, religion, portraits, and the act of writing. Her inquiry spans themes, topics, and figures central to her writing, and her paths of discovery advance the theoretical innovations that are so characteristic of her thought.

    Kristeva rearticulates and extends her analysis of language, abjection, idealization, female sexuality, love, and forgiveness. She examines the "maladies of the soul," utilizing examples from her practice and the ailments of her patients, such as fatigue, irritability, and general malaise. She sources the Bible and texts by Marguerite Duras, St. Teresa of Avila, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, and Georgia O'Keefe. Balancing political calamity and individual pathology, she addresses internal and external catastrophes and global and personal injuries, confronting the nature of depression, obliviousness, fear, and the agony of being and nothingness.

    Throughout Kristeva develops the notion that psychoanalysis is the key to serenity, with its processes of turning back, looking back, investigating the self, and refashioning psychical damage into something useful and beautiful. Constant questioning, Kristeva contends, is essential to achieving the coming to terms we all seek at the core of forgiveness.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51278-7
    Subjects: Philosophy, Language & Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Religion
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD (pp. vii-x)
    PIERRE-LOUIS FORT

    “Kristeva’s work constitutes this admonition: that we are still going too slowly, that we are wasting time in ‘believing,’ i.e., in repeating and humoring ourselves, that often a supplement of freedom in a new thought would suffice to gain years of work,” Roland Barthes wrote in 1970, speaking of the originality and innovative power of this body of work.¹

    Thirty years later, the qualities underscored by Roland Barthes were recognized by the Holberg Prize awarded to Julia Kristeva—the first person to be given this honor—by his Royal Highness of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon, on December 3, 2004, at...

  4. TRANSLATOR’S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. xi-xiv)
    J.H.
  5. PART 1 World(s)
    • 1 THINKING ABOUT LIBERTY IN DARK TIMES (pp. 3-23)

      First of all I would like to thank the Holberg Prize Jury for their generosity in awarding me this first Holberg prize for research in the field of the human and social sciences, law, and theology. I would also like to thank you for your presence at this conference, for the interest you have shown in my work, and for your participation in detailed and gracious discussions of my ideas, which I regard as both an honor and highly stimulating. Finally, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about the intellectual quest which has...

    • 2 SECULARISM: “VALUES” AT THE LIMITS OF LIFE (pp. 24-28)

      The passionate debate we having now prompts me to begin with a question often asked in 1968: “Where are you coming from?” I will begin by answering it myself. I will try to address a few aspects of the debate on secularism as a woman and as a psychoanalyst, while limiting myself to three points:

      1. The ravages of totalitarianism and notably the tragedy of the Shoah led torevisingthe heritage of the Enlightenment that had taken the form of a critique, indeed, a rejection, of religion. At best, we inherited from the eighteenth century and the French Revolution...

    • 3 LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY AND . . . VULNERABILITY (pp. 29-46)

      Disabilities aremultiple—motor, sensory, psychical, mental—andsingular. Each disabled person is a singular person experiencing his or her situation in a specific, different, unique way. Yet, whatever the disabilities, they confront us with incomparable exclusion, different from others: the disabled person opens anarcissistic identity woundin the person who is not disabled; he inflicts a threat ofphysical or psychical death, fear of collapse, and, beyond that, the anxiety of seeing the veryborders of the human speciesexplode. And sothe disabled person is inevitably exposed to a discrimination that cannot be shared.

      If I attempt...

  6. PART 2 Women
    • 4 ON PARITY, AGAIN; OR, WOMEN AND THE SACRED (pp. 49-56)

      The adoption by the Senate—finally—of the proposal for male-female parity runs counter to the fears of defenders of universalism. We should revisit the presuppositions of these fears and contrast them with another vision of the symbolic pact on which our society now relies, since parity now appears in article 3 of the Constitution.

      Today we associate “power” with “politics,” so much so that when men or women ofpowerspeak, many decipher it as the expression ofpoliticalthought. Let’s consider politics, on the contrary, as the experience of a debate in which free individuals appear and take stock...

    • 5 FROM MADONNAS TO NUDES: A REPRESENTATION OF FEMALE BEAUTY (pp. 57-78)

      The reflections here are not intended to be an inventory of images of women in Western art over the past two thousand years. Rather, I will try to explore how the idea of “femininity,” specific to Christianity, led to the crystallization of a certain notion of “beauty” and how this conception of beauty in turn influenced the notion of “sexual difference,” and the way we think of women, well beyond aesthetics.

      I would like to place this brief voyage through beauty and the feminine under the sign of Ronsard, “Votre oeil me fait un été dans mon âme,” which I...

    • 6 THE PASSION ACCORDING TO MOTHERHOOD (pp. 79-94)

      I have known Jean-Didier Vincent for a long time, and we have referred to each other’s work in our writings. Which is to say, I read him attentively. And his role in initiating this debate on the passions from the perspective of biology strikes me as central and indispensable.

      I will not address the complex problem of the possible or impossible encounter of biology and psychoanalysis, though it remains at the heart of this exchange. To leave it in the shadows is surely not the way to clarify the debate, but we would need more time. Moreover, this epistemological question...

    • 7 THE WAR OF THE SEXES SINCE ANTIQUITY (pp. 95-98)

      Citizens of the third millennium will not understand (our children already do not understand) that for millennia, half of humanity—the female half—was mistreated in culture and excluded from politics. At the rate things are going, with the help of female politicians and parity, we are starting to minimize this age-old discrimination that has no problem ostracizing from humanity those who are nevertheless the mothers of the species. We have a tendency to forget that awareness of this exclusion has only been expressed for barely a century, first by various feminist currents, then by certain observers looking at culture...

    • 8 BEAUVOIR, PRESENTLY (pp. 99-113)

      I thank you for your invitation to be here today, but I wonder what I can add to the remarks of Sartre’s brilliant biographer, Bernard-Henri Lévy, and his contributions to the topic of this colloquium, “De Beauvoir à Sartre et de Sartre à Beauvoir” (From Beauvoir to Sartre and from Sartre to Beauvoir).

      As a woman, a citizen, a psychoanalyst, and a writer (but certainly not as a specialist), and with an interest that has never waned, I have followed and continue to follow the path of these two literary giants, who provoked scandal and influenced many of our fates....

    • 9 FATIGUE IN THE FEMININE (pp. 114-126)

      Fatigue in the feminine reminds me of Colette’s words inThe Vagabond(1910):

      “. . . That woman about whom we cry:

      — She’s made of steel!

      is simply made ‘ of woman’”¹

      In other words: there is a feminine endurance that is not a phallic, metallic hardness but a suppleness and plasticity; it may result in fatiguebut also temporarily in the amorous exaltation of the hysteric or the unshakeable abnegation of the mother; it is appeased indefinitely in the serenity of the female mystic, the female writer, and sometimes the (male or female) analyst.

      To present these figures fatigue...

  7. PART 3 Psychoanalizing
    • 10 THE SOBBING GIRL; OR, ON HYSTERICAL TIME (pp. 129-152)

      While the clinic of hysteria seemed to be getting banal, I thought, on the contrary, I detected a true possession there. I shared this feeling with André Green, who said, “Read my article ‘Destin des passions.’” In it he wrote, “Madness is our hysteria today.”¹ The reflections that follow were inspired by this reading.

      Beyond the various definitions and categories of hysteria, Freud already leaves us with a certain coherence of thepsychoanalytical conceptionof this ailment: crossed identifications and the prevalence of repression, at play in the oedipal conflict and the oral and phallic registers. We know, moreover, that,...

    • 11 HEALING, A PSYCHICAL REBIRTH (pp. 153-158)

      Illness—notably cancer, which is our topic of discussion today—is being increasingly “contextualized”: we consider it not only as the deterioration of an organ but also as thesymptom of the organismas a whole and, beyond that, asymptom of the subject. An organic ill-being, indeed, a subjective ill-being, is being expressed—finding its sign, its language, in illness.

      From then on, healing consists in refining the specific treatment of the tumor, mobilizing all potential medical research and hospital care as well as dealing with the illness in its entirety. Going back to etiology and struggling against the...

    • 12 FROM OBJECT LOVE TO OBJECTLESS LOVE (pp. 159-169)

      After a variety of philosophical and methodological developments on theobject, allow me to offer a few reflections inspired by the microcosm of the psychoanalytical clinic and to offer a few concrete examples borrowed from religious and literary experience. The following will deal with the object as seen through a reading of Freud and Freudians and its place in the writing of two women—St. Teresa and Colette—with resonance for the present.

      Object relations are at the heart of the psychoanalytical theory and clinic. The subject of the drive (whether the life drive or death drive), the subject of...

    • 13 DESIRE FOR LAW (pp. 170-176)

      The talk we’ve just heard suggests that law is a consecration of the desire of certain individuals or groups (the desire of gay people to marry, for example). This is no doubt an important function of the law. A psychoanalytical approach, however, illuminates another of its functions: one that favors the individual’s creativity. In our civilization, freedom is the culmination of the individual with respect to human rights, and the law guarantees human freedom in relation to collective freedom. It might surprise you to hear that this problematic is not foreign to psychoanalysis: in fact, I would say, far from...

    • 14 LANGUAGE, SUBLIMATION, WOMEN (pp. 177-182)

      In response to this invitation to discuss some of the aspects of André Green’s work that have marked me, I will begin with an admission of personal debt: my personal history has not ceased to cross your path, dear André Green, through the clinical and theoretical problems I will try to articulate here before you. Through your amiable listening and your generosity as a thinker, and without being my analyst (but who can be sure?), you have already supported me for thirty years: supervisions, seminars, not to mention those sessions without a label in your various domiciles, late into the...

    • [Illustrations] (pp. None)
    • 15 HATRED AND FORGIVENESS; OR, FROM ABJECTION TO PARANOIA (pp. 183-194)

      In distinguishing hatred from aggressiveness, keeping in mind that hatred is older than the love erected on top of it and that the object of hatred (unlike the object of love) never disappoints, Freudian psychoanalysis introduces two fundamental mutations in the exploration of the speaking being, the measure of which we have perhaps not yet taken. On the one hand, in contrast to religious or humanist moralism, the psychoanalytical experience reveals that hatred—in its multiple variants—is coextensive to human destiny. On the other hand, simultaneously, psychoanalysis assigns itself the redoubtable privilege of accompanying and untangling this destiny.

      These...

    • 16 THREE ESSAYS; OR, THE VICTORY OF POLYMORPHOUS PERVERSION (pp. 195-206)

      To read the three prefaces to successive editions ofThree Essays on the Theory of Sexuality(1905), a modern reader notices that Freud is increasingly aware of the scandal he introduced by “enlarging the concept of sexuality,” so much so that he is careful not to mention the key concept that is the book’s strength—the “polymorphously perverse predisposition”—and instead “cloaks” himself in . . . Schopenhauer and Plato. Along the way, Freud takes a cultural historical perspective, inviting us to read the text in all its scope, as both immediately therapeutic and inextricably historico-political. He notes that not his...

  8. PART 4 Religion
    • 17 ATHEISM (pp. 209-212)

      I grew up in the shadow of icons and for a long time observed the faith of my father, an Orthodox Christian and seminarian; he cultivated this faith, it seemed to me, as an intimate revolt against Communist atheism and as an aesthetic religion. Two months before the fall of the Berlin wall, he died at seventy-seven, killed by “socialist” medicine, which would not administer costly medications to aged persons but transformed them into guinea pigs for their surgical experiments. The horror of this atheism requires no commentary. The debates with my father, necessarily oedipal, left me with an interest...

    • 18 THE TRIPLE UPROOTING OF ISRAEL EXODUS, EXILE, RETURN (pp. 213-221)

      According to the biblical account, the foundation of Israel is nothing but a constant uprooting: exodus, exile, return. This instability, suggested at the origins from the start, thisfounding voyagethat from the start disseminates the essence of the chosen people, brings lamentation and consolation, and, for the first time in human history, uproots human beings from their soil to reunite their nomadic community in the only possible covenant, which in the end is only symbolic. Because it is the Word of God alone, and fidelity to His commandments or sins against them, that now trace the fate of those...

    • 19 WHAT IS LEFT OF OUR LOVES? (pp. 222-228)

      After “God is dead,” which at first sounded like liberation, after its martyrdom in Auschwitz and the gulag and in the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, we know that a single religion remains: that of Love. It is enough to turn on any screen on our globalized planet to see it: reality shows probe the secrets of love, soap operas fan the flames, quarrels, and tears of love, actresses and actors become bodies that sell love, when actors do not kill their actresses (the reverse has yet to be added to the repertory), always out...

  9. PART 5 Portraits
    • 20 THE INEVITABLE FORM (pp. 231-244)

      She was twenty-nine in 1916: a beautiful young painter who had studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, visited great exhibitions by French artists and Alfred Stieglitz’s art gallery in New York, and traveled across the country teaching painting at various art schools.

      His name was Alfred Stieglitz: a famous avant-garde photographer who established a highly regarded art gallery at 291 Fifth Avenue, a fervent supporter of European modern art who aspired to elevating American art to the same heights, or higher.

      Stieglitz sees Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in January, exhibits it at...

    • 21 A STRANGER (pp. 245-250)

      Can we really love—what we call love—Duras? I am intoxicated by her, but as I prefer the pain of clarity to the malady of alcohol, I frequent her novels with the symbiotic and cautious ambivalence induced in me by the most catastrophic patients. I have known more than one patient (both male and female) who let themselves become enchanted by their love of death, to the point of suicide. She did not mind when I used the wordsorceryto refer to her complicity with the ravages of maternal hatred, with the ennui that takes the place of...

    • 22 WRITING AS STRANGENESS AND JOUISSANCE (pp. 251-256)

      If it is true that onlygreat mendeserve to have exhibitions devoted to them by posterity, I can hear Roland Barthes laughing from here. Not a hearty laugh à la Rabelais or a sardonic laugh à la Foucault, but a smooth laugh that excuses itself for passing the throat, after having troubled the lungs, halfway between the compassion that believers in greatness deserve, according to him, and the regret of “not being among them.” Because Roland was one of those rare cases, perhaps the only person I have known, who cultivated no faith, while also believing in the existence...

  10. PART 6 Writing
    • 23 THE “TRUE-LIE,” OUR UNASSAILABLE CONTEMPORARY (pp. 259-272)

      When I learned French readingAurelienandHoly Week, I never imagined I would speak to you one day about Aragon—about his gorgeousness and lies—in an era when Europe, freed of its iron curtain, would be integrating its former communist countries.

      Needless to say, a figure as singular as Louis Aragon, the multifaceted writer, should not be confused with the exaltations or abjections of an ideology. As for psychoanalysis, as attentive as it might be to the alchemy of the imaginary, it alone cannot interpret a human adventure in which familial destiny, national memory, and global history cross...

    • 24 MURDER IN BYZANTIUM, OR WHY I “SHIP MYSELF ON A VOYAGE” IN A NOVEL (pp. 273-306)

      PIERRE-LOUIS FORT: One of my first impressions is thatMurder in Byzantiumis a cryptic novel, in both senses of the term: because there are elements to decode (a subtle intertextual game, discreet political and societal allusions) but also because, more profoundly, it seems to touch on something intensely personal, even more so thanThe Samurai, where the personal dimension was nevertheless quite significant.

      JULIA KRISTEVA: It took me a while to find the character. It did start withThe Samurai, actually, but I think in trying to appropriate the polyphony of “the novel” as a genre, I dealt with...

  11. NOTES (pp. 307-318)
  12. NOTES ON THE ORIGINS OF THE TEXTS (pp. 319-322)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 323-328)
  14. INDEX (pp. 329-342)
  15. Back Matter (pp. 343-346)