ABSTRACT

Examining Julia Kristeva's contention that contemporary Western society is witnessing a crisis of subjectivity due to the failure of the paternal function, Gambaudo places Kristeva's thesis within the context of Freudian psychoanalytic thought and shows how Kristeva defends her position against a cultural climate privileging scientific and cognitive answers to aesthetic concerns. Gambaudo argues that while Kristeva's position might be construed as defensive and a reactive clinging on to paternal modes of organisation of subjectivity, it also offers a unique and visionary analysis of subjectivity that rescues the paternal project from its decline. Eschewing a traditional emphasis on Kristeva's feminism, this book's primary interest is located at the intersection between psychoanalysis and culture, specifically analysing the superseding of Oedipus by narcissistic organisation.