Crisis of the European Subject by Julia Kristeva

By Julia Kristeva

A gem of a private exploration by way of Julia Kristeva, studying modern matters resembling ecu identification, the function of faith in political existence, and the that means of equality for girls.

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Action and life thus depend on the narrator, who bears witness to the passion of showing himself by measuring himself against others. While the Socratic school opposed poli­ tics and action, returning to prepolitical activities, Aristotle-whom Arendt prefers here-advocates, as she puts it, the "sharing of words and deeds," which amounts to multiplying "the chances for everybody to distinguish himself, to show in deed and word who he was in his unique distinctiveness" ( 1 958a, p. 197). And Arendt goes on to suggest that the political narrative was, in the Age of Pericles, the only way to constitute an "organized memory" as remedy against the futility of action and language.

This polis is not a physical location like the Roman City founded by a law but an "organization of the people as it arises out of acting and speaking together," one that can appear "anytime and anywhere" if "I appear to oth­ ers as others appear to me" ( 1958a, p. 1 98). It is thus a site of inter-est, an intermediate space, and a political model of this kind is founded on nothing but action and speech, and never the one without the other. What speech? Faithful to the teachings of Heidegger, Arendt em­ phasizes that poetry, whose material is language, is by this very fact "the most human ofthe arts" (1958a, p.

Pellauer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1 984-1988. Stevens, B. ( 1985). Action et narrativite chez Paul Ricoeur et Hannah Arendt. Etudes phhwmhwloques 2. Taminiaux, J. ( 1 992).

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