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Head CasesJulia Kristeva on Philosophy and Art in Depressed Times$
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Elaine Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166829

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166829.001.0001

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To Be and Remain Foreign

To Be and Remain Foreign

Tarrying with L’Inquiétante Étrangeté Alongside Arendt and Kafka

(p.87) 3 To Be and Remain Foreign
Head Cases

Elaine P. Miller

Columbia University Press

This chapter contrasts Julia Kristeva's opinion about the role of art with that of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel to examine Kristeva's discussion of foreignness on both an individual and a societal level. In his lectures on aesthetics, Hegel called art's role: the attempt by human beings to do away with foreignness, both in themselves and in the natural world that inflexibly surrounds themselves, in order to “enjoy in the shape of things only an external realization of himself.” However, Kristeva viewed art in a contrary manner: as the attempt to safeguard the foreignness at the heart of our existence and our context. In implicitly taking the Kantian sublime, rather than the beautiful, as a starting point for a consideration of the political, Kristeva provided a way of thinking alterity as not simply an inevitable feature of human psychic identity and global citizenship but a quality to be cultivated and preserved, a sense of always being strange to ourselves.

Keywords:   Julia Kristeva, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, sublime, global citizenship, human psychic identity

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