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The forgetfulness of Julia Kristeva: psychoanalysis, Marxism and the taboo of the mother

By Roland Boer


Julia Kristeva is known both for her reinterpretations of psychoanalysis and her regular engagements with the Bible. What is less known is her earlier interaction with Marxist analysis, even though at times she draws upon Marx when she is in a corner. In this article the focus is on one of Kristeva's better biblical readings—the taboos in Leviticus, which ultimately rely on the taboo of the mother—where it can be seen that her dominant psychoanalytical reading can get her only so far. In order to go further we need the forgotten Marxist Kristeva. After finding this Marx in a number of her texts, this study suggests a way in which Kristeva's reading of Leviticus might be filled out with some social and economic analysis

Topics: Julia Kristeva, levitical taboos, taboo of the mother, Karl Marx, sacred economy, fertility
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0309089209102496
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