Space in Theory: Kristeva, Foucault, Deleuze seeks to give a detailed but succinct overview of the role of spatial reflection in three of the most influential French critical thinkers of recent decades. It proposes a step-by-step analysis of the changing place of space in their theories, focussing on the common problematic all three critics address, but highlighting the significant differences between them. It aims to rectify an unaccountable absence of detailed analysis to the significance of space in their work up until now.
Space in Theory argues that Kristeva, Foucault and Deleuze address the question: How are meaning and knowledge produced in contemporary society? What makes it possible to speak and think in ways we take for granted? The answer which all three thinkers provide is: space. This space takes various forms: psychic, subjective space in Kristeva, power-knowledge-space in Foucault, and the spaces of life as multiple flows of becoming in Deleuze.
This book alternates between analyses of these thinkers’ theoretical texts, and brief digressions into literary texts by Barrico, de Beauvoir, Beckett, Bodrožić or Bonnefoy, via Borges, Forster, Gide, Gilbert, Glissant, Hall, to Kafka, Ondaatje, Perec, Proust, Sartre, Warner and Woolf. These detours through literature aim to render more concrete and accessible the highly complex conceptulization of contemporary spatial theory.
This volume is aimed at students, postgraduates and researchers interested in the areas of French poststructuralist theory, spatial reflection, or more generally contemporary cultural theory and cultural studies.
With the publication in English in 1930 of Civilization and its Discontents and its thesis that instinct – and, ultimately: nature – had been and must be forever subordinated in order that civilization might thrive and endure, Freud contributed what some contemporaries saw to the central debate of his era -- a debate which had long preoccupied both official American pundits and the American populace at large. At the beginning of the new Millennium, evidence abounds that an American debate still rages over the meaning of “nature,” the rightful weight of instinct, and the status of civilization. The Millennium itself has appeared in popular and official discourses as an appropriate marker of an age in which nature is close to the edge of radical extinction and has also become more and more unreliable as a paradigm for representation and debate. At the same time, the contemporary tailoring of nature to postmodern needs and expectations inevitably reveals the conceptual difficulty of any possible, simple opposition between nature and culture as if they were clearly distinguishable domains. If nature, then, can clearly be seen as a discursive concept, it may also be a timeless concept insofar that it has been shaped, created, and used at all times. Every epoch, age and era had “its own nature,” with myth, history and ideology as its dominant shaping forces. From the Frontier to Cyberia, nature has been suffering the “agony of the real,” resurfacing in discursive strategies and demonstrating a powerful impact on American society, culture and self-definition. The essays in this collection “speak critically of the natural” and examine the American debate in the many guises it has assumed over the last century within the context of major critical approaches, psychoanalytical concepts, and postmodern theorizing.