"Desire in Language" traces the path of an investigation,
extending over a period of ten years, into the semiotics of
literature and the arts. But the essays of Julia Kristeva in this
volume, though they often deal with literature and art, do not
amount to either "literary criticism" or "art criticism." Their
concern, writes Kristeva, "remains intratheoretical: they are based
on art and literature in order to subvert the very theoretical,
philosophical, or semiological apparatus."
Probing beyond the discoveries of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan,
Roman Jakobson and others, Julia Kristeva proposes and tests
theories centered on the nature and development of the novel, and
on what she has defined as a signifying practice in poetic language
and pictural works. "Desire in Language" fully shows what Roman
Jakobson has called Kristeva's "genuine gift of questioning
generally adopted 'axioms, ' and her contrary gift of releasing
various 'damned questions' from their traditional question
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