Strangers to Ourselves

Julia Kristeva


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Columbia University Press
7 November 2023
ISBN: 9780231214612
232 pages

From the publisher

This book is concerned with the notion of the stranger-the foreigner, outsider, or alien in a country and society not their own-as well as the notion of strangeness within the self, a person's deep sense of being, as distinct from outside appearance and their conscious idea of self.

Julia Kristeva begins with the personal and moves outward by examining world literature and philosophy. She discusses the foreigner in Greek tragedy, in the Bible, and in the literature of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and the twentieth century. By considering the legal status of foreigners throughout history, Kristeva offers a different perspective on our own civilization.