Black Sun

Depression and Melancholia

Julia Kristeva. Translated by Leon S. Roudiez

Columbia University Press

Black Sun

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Pub Date: April 1992

ISBN: 9780231067072

300 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£26.95

Black Sun

Depression and Melancholia

Julia Kristeva. Translated by Leon S. Roudiez

Columbia University Press

In Black Sun, Julia Kristeva addresses the subject of melancholia, examining this phenomenon in the context of art, literature, philosophy, the history of religion and culture, as well as psychoanalysis. She describes the depressive as one who perceives the sense of self as a crucial pursuit and a nearly unattainable goal and explains how the love of a lost identity of attachment lies at the very core of depression's dark heart.

In her discussion she analyzes Holbein's controversial 1522 painting "The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb," and has revealing comments on the works of Marguerite Duras, Dostoyevsky and Nerval. Black Sun takes the view that depression is a discourse with a language to be learned, rather than strictly a pathology to be treated.
Moving and Provocative. The New York Times
An absorbing meditation on depression and melancholia, moving from essays in psychoanalytic theory based on the 'symptomatology' of Ms. Kristeva's patients to rather more formal studies of depression in Holbein the Younger, Nerval, Dostoyevsky, and Marguerite Duras... A persuasive theory of depression that is both moving and provocative. The New York Times
When Julia Kristeva's new book, 'Black Sun,' begins seductively, with an elegant reminder of that old black mood we know so well, she raises hopes that the darker moments of depression will be illuminated... Kristeva's descriptions of the artistic working through of melancholica are compelling and theoretically sound. Voice Literary Supplement
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About the Author

Julia Kristeva is a professor of linguistics at the Université de Paris VII. She is the author of many highly respected books (most published in English by Columbia University Press) and a practicing psychoanalyst.