Wednesday 23 September 2020


Julia #Kristeva’s POSSESSIONS: Not just a crime story.


And not just a throw-back to the good old days of the 90s, when people freely travelled, jetting between New York, Paris, London, and a fictitious place in Bulgaria. A respected academic, Kristeva knows how to hang her feminist ideas on a crime story a la Agatha Christie. Gloria is found dead – raped (?), stabbed to the heart, and decapitated. One of the people in the house must have done it, right? Spoiler alert: More than one did it. I don’t mind spoiling the ending for you because solving the crime isn’t the point of the book. Learning about life is. Here are some of Kristeva’s insights:

Self-denial is a delusion of grandeur, disguising trauma.

Art encourages the apotheosis of the self…it is a secular religion and the conversion of civilization to museums.

Translation: the problematical effort to shift the meaning of words adequately from one language to another.

Music as character-builder: It is concerned with tempo and measure and helps to make feelings “keep time”.

Journalists: the modern equivalent of priests. They manipulate everything and understand nothing.

Some people talk because they need an audience. Their message: I am not asking you to say what you think of what I say. I’m merely asking the impossible, that you should bear witness to my being and to my being okay.