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Dervin, D. (2004). New Maladies of the Soul. By Julia Kristeva. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, 242 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 91(2):296-303.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Review, 91(2):296-303

New Maladies of the Soul. By Julia Kristeva. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, 242 pp.

Review by:
Daniel Dervin, Ph.D.

This latest work by a prominent French intellectual—feminist, semiotist, novelist, and, more recently, psychoanalyst—promises great interest, but proves so for mainly unexpected reasons and ultimately delivers a considerably more mixed product than promised. While nominally a book, its covers bind a loose assemblage of seemingly after-hours musings, case vignettes, reviews, and occasional pieces (some dusted off from the 1970s with only token updating). By way of announcing a serious theme and then abandoning it midway, the title stems from a 1989 study of body/soul dualisms in ancient philosophy and medical practices (Jackie Pigeaud's La Maladie de l'ame). Kristeva muses, “In the wake of psychiatric medicines, aerobics, and media zapping, does the soul exist?” (p. 3).

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