Kristeva’s Sadomasochistic Subject and the Sublimation of Violence

Kelly Oliver


Do representations of violence incite or quell violent desires and actions?  This question--the question of the relation between mimesis and catharsis--is as old as Western Philosophy itself.  In this essay, I attempt to think through how Kristeva might describe the difference between representations of violence that perpetuate violent desires and actions versus representations of violence that sublimate violent desires and thereby prevent violent actions.

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