‘Between man and citizen there is a scar: the foreigner’ Julia Kristeva
The idea of the ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’, provides a nexus for examining the dynamics and tensions of differing cultures in contact which has long been associated with the Jewish people. A foreigner inhabits spaces both inside and out, allowing a dual perspective and it is this prerogative of exile and displacement which is both enlightening and alienating. Both Julia Kristeva and Eva Hoffman have explored the role of a foreigner or stranger within society and also within the individual.
What kind of additional perspective does displacement afford the individual? How are we strangers to ourselves? Is the Jew an eternal foreigner? And can foreigners ever be happy?
Since arriving in Paris in 1966 as a doctoral fellow, Bulgarian-born Julia Kristeva has become a dominant figure in contemporary theory, as well as one of the world's most respected and rigorous intellectuals. She is a psychoanalyst and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Paris and the author of many acclaimed books including Time and Sense, Strangers to Ourselves, The Sense and Non-Sense of Revolt, and New Maladies of the Soul and her latest, a novel, Murder in Byzantium.
Born in Poland in 1945, writer Eva Hoffman is the author of several books, including the widely regarded Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language and most recently, After Such Knowledge, A Meditation on the Aftermath of the Holocaust.
In association with the London Review of Books
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