Marriage as a Fine Art

Julia Kristeva and Philippe Sollers. Translated by Lorna Scott Fox

Columbia University Press

Marriage as a Fine Art

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Pub Date: December 2016

ISBN: 9780231180108

128 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $26.00£20.95

Pub Date: December 2016

ISBN: 9780231543033

128 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $25.99£20.95

Marriage as a Fine Art

Julia Kristeva and Philippe Sollers. Translated by Lorna Scott Fox

Columbia University Press

"We found so much to say, to share, to learn.... For it wasn't just the Marquis de Sade profile and the sporty thighs-and-calves that seduced me. It was even more, perhaps, or certainly just as much, the speed at which you used to read, and still do."—Julia Kristeva

"We're married, Julia and I, that's a fact, but we each have our own personalities, our own name, activities, and freedom. Love is the full recognition of the other in their otherness. If this other is very close to you, as in this case, it seems to me that what's at stake is harmony within difference. The difference between men and women is irreducible; there's no possibility of fusion."—Philippe Sollers

Marriage as a Fine Art is an enchanting series of exchanges in which Julia Kristeva and Philippe Sollers, married for fifty years, speak candidly about their love. Though they live separately, Kristeva and Sollers are fully committed to each other. Their bond is intellectual and psychological, passionate and mundane. They share everything when together, and lose themselves in their interests when apart. Their marriage is art, rich with history and meaning, idiosyncratic, and dynamic in its expression.

Yet it is also as common as they come. Kristeva and Sollers have lived through the same challenges, peaks, and lulls as all married couples do. With humor and honesty, they elaborate on these moments, turning marriage's familiar aspects into exceptional examples of relating, struggling, transcending, and being. Marriage as a Fine Art is a rare chance to know these intellectuals—and marriage—more intimately.
Kristeva's and Sollers' shared love of literature and interpretation, their appreciation of each others' work is evident throughout this volume. These play a very real part in their fine art of marriage. As they explore its lineaments, they also share their deep knowledge of psychoanalysis and literature with us. Lisa Appignanesi, author of All About Love and Trials of Passion
[Kristeva & Sollers's] performance, so smart, so practiced, is genuinely entertaining, enacted, as it is, by two people who are openly energized by showing off to and for one another. Their mutual enjoyment, as they go through their paces, is palpable. Clearly, intellectual busking is the glue that binds Kristeva and Sollers to one another. Vivian Gornick, New Republic
A fascinating book. Shahidha Bari, Times Higher Education
Preface: Adventure, by Philippe Sollers
Preface: Harmonizing Our Foreignnesses, by Julia Kristeva
1. Complicity, Laughter, Hurt
2. Inner Experience Against the Current
3. Childhood and Youth of a French Writer
4. Love of the Other

About the Author

Julia Kristeva is professor of linguistics at the Université de Paris VII. Her most recent Columbia University Press book is Teresa, My Love: An Imagined Life of the Saint of Avila (2014).

Philippe Sollers is a biographer, editor, critic, and prolific novelist. He is a cofounder of the journal Tel Quel and the founder of L'Infini.