Art, Mysticism, and the Other: Kristeva’s Adel and Teresa

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 26 (2):43-55 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Kristeva's Teresa My Love concerns the life and thought of a 16th century Spanish mystic, written in the form of a novel. Yet the theme of another kind of foreigner, equally exotic but this time threatening, pops up unexpectedly and disappears several times during the course of the novel. At the very beginning of the story, the 21st century narrator, psychoanalyst Sylvia Leclerque, encounters a young woman in a headscarf, whom Kristeva describes as an IT engineer, who speaks out, explaining that "she and her God were one and that the veil was the immovable sign of this 'union,' which she wished to publicize in order to definitively 'fix it' in herself and in the eyes of others." In this paper I ask what difference Kristeva discerns between these two women, a distinction that apparently makes Teresa's immanence simultaneously a transcendence, but transforms a Muslim woman in a headscarf immediately into an imagined suicide bomber. Despite the problematic aspects of this comparison, we can learn something from them about Kristeva's ideas on mysticism and on art. Both mysticism and art are products of the death drive, but whereas the suicide bomber and the animal directly and purely pursue death Teresa and Adel remain on its outer edge and merely play with mortality.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,745

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kristeva's Thérèse: Mysticism and Modernism.Carol Mastrangelo Bové - 2013 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 21 (1):105-115.
Keeping it Intimate: A Meditation on the Power of Horror.Sara Beardsworth - 2013 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 21 (1):127-131.
Kristeva: Thresholds.Stacey Keltner - 2011 - Malden, Mass.: Polity.
Review of Julia Kristeva's Hatred and Forgiveness. [REVIEW]Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2016 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 121 (10):721-22.
Introduction: Kristeva and Race.Carol Mastrangelo Bové - 2018 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 26 (2):1-5.


Added to PP

32 (#127,447)

6 months
11 (#1,140,922)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Elaine P. Miller
Miami University, Ohio

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

New Forms of Revolt.Julia Kristeva - 2014 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 22 (2):1-19.
Investing in a Third: Colonization, Religious Fundamentalism, and Adolescence.Elaine P. Miller - 2014 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 22 (2):36-45.

Add more references