The Philosophy of Julia Kristeva
is the latest addition to the highly acclaimed series, The Library of Living Philosophers. The book epitomizes the objectives of this acclaimed series; it contains critical interpretation of one of the greatest philosophers of our time, and pursues more creative regional and world dialogue on philosophical questions. The format provides a detailed interaction between those who interpret and critique Kristeva's work and the seminal thinker herself, giving broad coverage, from diverse viewpoints, of all the major topics establishing her reputation. With questions directed to the philosopher while they are alive, the volumes in The Library of Living Philosophers have come to occupy a uniquely significant place in the realm of philosophy. The inclusion of Julia Kristeva constitutes a vital addition to an already robust list of thinkers. The Philosophy of Julia Kristeva
exemplifies world-class intellectual work closely connected to the public sphere. Kristeva has been said to have "inherited the intellectual throne left vacant by Simone de Beauvoir," and has won many awards, including the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought.
Julia Kristeva's autobiography provides an excellent introduction to her work, situating it in relation to major political, intellectual, and cultural movements of the time. Her upbringing in Soviet-dominated Bulgaria, her move to the French intellectual landscape of the 1960s, her visit to Mao's China, her response to the fall of the Berlin Wall, her participation in a papal summit on humanism, her appointment by President Chirac as President of the National Council on Disability, and her setting up of the Simone de Beauvoir prize, honoring women in active and creative fields, are all major moments of this fascinating life. The major part of the book is comprised of thirty-six essays by Kristeva's foremost interpreters and critics, together with her replies to the essays. These encounters cover an exceptionally wide range of theoretical and literary writing. The strong international and multidisciplinary focus includes authors from over ten countries, and spans the fields of philosophy, semiotics, literature, psychoanalysis, feminist thought, political theory, art, and religion. The comprehensive bibliography provides further access to Kristeva's writings and thought.
The preparation of this volume, the thirty-sixth in the series, was supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.