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Little Brother, Little Sister

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Hysteria

24 May 2001
Mad Men and Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria and the Effects of Sibling Relationships on the Human Condition 
by Juliet Mitchell.
Penguin, 381 pp., £9.99, December 2000, 0 14 017651 9
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... itself from its ashes, always more powerful, always more imperial, always more Freudian. How do analysts manage to transmute their defeats into victories? How do they change while remaining the same? JulietMitchell is a grande dame of Freudo-Lacanian feminism. Her first book, Psychoanalysis and Feminism (1974), played a critical role in the feminist rehabilitation of Freud. The present one deals with ...

Love and Hate, Girl and Boy

Juliet Mitchell: Louise Bourgeois

6 November 2014
... Louise Bourgeois​ died, aged 98, in May 2010. Shortly before her death Jerry Gorovoy, her long-time assistant, found a forgotten box of her jottings, unpublished papers and diaries from her time in psychoanalysis. He had uncovered a similar stash six years earlier; together, the materials came to a thousand pages of notes. Some of the writings were displayed, along with a selection of drawings and ...

Thinking Women

Jane Miller

6 November 1986
... next three years I paid another woman £3 of the £7 I earned to look after my child. I was reminded of my sluggish beginnings as a feminist because I’ve also been reading the essays collected by JulietMitchell and Ann Oakley in What is feminism?1 which refers back rather gloomily both to the Sixties – the earliest days of the women’s movement in this country – and to the anthology of essays ...

Reading as a woman

Christopher Norris

4 April 1985
Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 407 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 9780704328471
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Feminist Literary Studies: An Introduction 
by K.K. Ruthven.
Cambridge, 162 pp., £16.50, December 1984, 0 521 26454 5
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Women: The Longest Revolution 
by Juliet Mitchell.
Virago, 334 pp., £5.95, April 1984, 0 86068 399 0
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Hélène Cixous: Writing the Feminine 
by Verena Andermatt Conley.
Nebraska, 181 pp., £20.35, March 1985, 0 8032 1424 3
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Women who do and women who don’t 
by Robyn Rowland.
Routledge, 242 pp., £5.95, May 1984, 0 7102 0296 2
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The Sexual Politics of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 
by Joel Schwartz.
Chicago, 196 pp., £14.45, June 1984, 0 226 74223 7
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... like Foucault, Barthes, Derrida and Lacan. Then again, further back, there is the shining example of Mill’s great essay ‘The Subjection of Women’, one sentence from which – quoted by JulietMitchell – makes exactly the point that Ruthven is stressing. ‘What is now called the nature of women,’ Mill writes, ‘is an eminently artificial thing – the result of forced repression in some ...

What did Freud want?

Rosemary Dinnage

3 December 1992
Freud’s Women 
by Lisa Appignanesi and John Forrester.
Weidenfeld, 563 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 297 81244 0
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Psychoanalysis in its Cultural Context 
edited by Edward Timms and Ritchie Robertson.
Edinburgh, 209 pp., £30, August 1992, 9780748603596
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... added an absurdity of her own by saying that giving birth is the ‘acme of sexual pleasure’. Appignanesi and Forrester trace the succeeding assault on psychoanalysis by feminism, the attempts of JulietMitchell and others to encompass both, the use of Freudian method to analyse Freud, and the place of psychoanalytical textual criticism in the intellectual projects stemming from Lévi-Strauss and ...

Sisters come second

Dinah Birch: Siblings

26 April 2012
Thicker than Water: Siblings and Their Relations 1780-1920 
by Leonore Davidoff.
Oxford, 449 pp., £35, November 2011, 978 0 19 954648 0
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... gentleness, cheerfulness and the talent to make their life easier and more beautiful’. Freud’s thinking was primarily engaged with the dominance of the father and mother and writers such as JulietMitchell have pointed out the psychoanalytic model’s stubborn denial of the role of brothers and sisters. His daughter Anna, according to James Strachey, saw psychoanalysis as a ‘game reserve ...

Poor Boys

Karl Miller

18 September 1986
In Search of a Past: The Manor House, Amnersfield 1933-1945 
by Ronald Fraser.
Verso, 187 pp., £15, September 1984, 9780860910923
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Growing up in the Gorbals 
by Ralph Glasser.
Chatto, 207 pp., £10.95, August 1986, 0 7011 3148 9
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... to dramatic effect in interesting ways. Ralph Glasser’s is fresh from the oven, while Ronald Fraser’s appeared in 1984, gained a second impression last year, and is still being discussed. JulietMitchell has called it ‘a miniature masterpiece’, and it is a work which should have been discussed in this journal long before now, and would have been but for a miscarriage of plans. Growing up in the ...

Diary

Perry Anderson: On E.P. Thompson

21 October 1993
... Thompson had been completing The Making of the English Working-Class. He lived in Halifax, and needed a final couple of weeks in the British Museum. In those days I lived in Talbot Road, newly wed to JulietMitchell. She was teaching in Leeds, while I was working for New Left Review in London. After hours Edward and I would exchange notes on our day, and fence amiably about history and sociology. ‘Do ...
23 March 2006
Martha Freud: A Biography 
by Katja Behling, translated by R.D.V. Glasgow.
Polity, 206 pp., £25, January 2006, 0 7456 3338 2
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... have been so desperate for her father’s attention as to devote her life to publishing his papers and continuing his work? Apostles need more than ordinary unhappiness to fit them for their task. JulietMitchell, in praise of the new biography, berates those who dismiss Martha Freud as a stereotypical Hausfrau rather than seeing in her ‘a highly ethical and decent human being’, though it isn’t ...

Mother-Haters and Other Rebels

Barbara Taylor: Heroine Chic

3 January 2002
Inventing Herself: Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage 
by Elaine Showalter.
Picador, 384 pp., £16.99, June 2001, 0 330 34669 5
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... For Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Vera Brittain, the ideal was Olive Schreiner, who in turn liked to imagine herself a second Mary Wollstonecraft (‘the greatest of all English women’). The young JulietMitchell, we are told, identified with Margaret Mead, while the influential critic and novelist Carolyn Heilbrun chose Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The Transcendalist Margaret Fuller – also a ...

Boulevard Brogues

Rosemary Hill: Having your grouse and eating it

13 May 1999
Girlitude: A Memoir of the Fifties and Sixties 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 224 pp., £15.99, April 1999, 0 224 05952 1
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... feminism by letting the door slam in your face. But always waiting to be asked, as if still at a society ball, is pure girlitude. Tennant never escapes it. Towards the end of the book she is given JulietMitchell’s The Woman Question and for a moment it seems as if Mitchell may descend like a dea ex machina, an anti-Princess Margaret, to make all right. Alas, our last glimpse of Tennant, in ...

I am a knife

Jacqueline Rose: A Woman’s Agency

22 February 2018
Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus 
by Vanessa Grigoriadis.
Houghton Mifflin, 332 pp., £20, September 2017, 978 0 544 70255 4
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Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus 
by Laura Kipnis.
HarperCollins, 245 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 06 265786 2
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Living a Feminist Life 
by Sara Ahmed.
Duke, 312 pp., £20.99, February 2017, 978 0 8223 6319 4
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 288 pp., £13.99, July 2017, 978 1 4721 5111 7
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Difficult Women 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 272 pp., £13.99, January 2017, 978 1 4721 5277 0
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... you.’ We need​ , then, to acknowledge the vagaries of human sexuality (which has always felt emancipatory to me); recognise its stubbornness once it has been locked in place (what the feminist JulietMitchell has described as the heavy undertow, the drag of sexual difference); insist that sexual harassment is unacceptable and must cease. Holding these apparently contradictory ideas in mind at the ...

Dressed as an Admiral

Michael Wood: Neruda’s Hocus Pocus

2 September 2004
Memoirs 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Hardie St Martin.
Souvenir, 370 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 9780285648111
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Isla Negra: A Bilingual Edition 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid.
Souvenir, 416 pp., £14.99, June 2004, 0 285 64913 2
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The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems 
edited by Mark Eisner.
City Lights, 199 pp., $16.95, April 2004, 0 87286 428 6
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... of Vinteuil’s sonata into his Residencia: ‘His words led me to relive my own life, to recover the hidden sentiments I had almost lost within myself.’ Neruda was translating Romeo and Juliet into Spanish at more or less the same time as he was writing Memoirs. ‘I was always quick to forget,’ he writes in a poem in Isla Negra; this is not a refutation of the great ‘sonata’ from ...

Outside the text

Marilyn Butler

19 December 1985
The Beauty of Inflections: Literary Investigations in Historical Method and Theory 
by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 352 pp., £19.50, May 1985, 0 19 811730 2
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The Politics of Language: 1791-1819 
by Olivia Smith.
Oxford, 269 pp., £19.50, December 1984, 0 19 812817 7
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... by dead authors. Undergraduates reading English at Cambridge may begin with an essay on Gawain and the Green Knight. At Oxford they tackle In Memoriam. O-Levellers could be confronting Romeo and Juliet and A-Levellers the poems of Herbert. The central question all of them ask of a work is what it means, and answering this question requires practice, effort, and the knowledge of more than the book ...

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