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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 Shortly before her death Jerry Gorovoy, her long-time assistant, found a forgotten box of her jottings, unpublished papers and diaries from her time in psychoanalysis.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 sculptures, in the exhibition Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed, which travelled in Latin America, then came, in a smaller version, to the Freud Museum in London in 2012 ...

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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... manage to transmute their defeats into victories? How do they change while remaining the same? Juliet Mitchell 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 hysteria, a neurosis reputed to be essentially ...

Thinking Women

Jane Miller, 6 November 1986

... of my sluggish beginnings as a feminist because I’ve also been reading the essays collected by Juliet Mitchell 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 they published exactly ten years ago called The ...


Perry Anderson: On E.P. Thompson, 21 October 1993

... a final couple of weeks in the British Museum. In those days I lived in Talbot Road, newly wed to Juliet Mitchell. 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 you really think Weber is more important than Marc ...

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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... Fraser’s appeared in 1984, gained a second impression last year, and is still being discussed. Juliet Mitchell 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 Gorbals, too, is liable to be called a ...

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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... of Mill’s great essay ‘The Subjection of Women’, one sentence from which – quoted by Juliet Mitchell – 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 directions, unnatural stimulation in others. So ...

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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... and Forrester trace the succeeding assault on psychoanalysis by feminism, the attempts of Juliet Mitchell 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 Lacan. Psychoanalysis in its Cultural Context, a ...

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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... thinking was primarily engaged with the dominance of the father and mother and writers such as Juliet Mitchell 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; belonging to the F. Family’. For all its focus on ...

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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... imagine herself a second Mary Wollstonecraft (‘the greatest of all English women’). The young Juliet Mitchell, 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 Wollstonecraft epigone – inspired innumerable American ...

The Housekeeper of a World-Shattering Theory

Jenny Diski: Mrs Freud, 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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... and continuing his work? Apostles need more than ordinary unhappiness to fit them for their task. Juliet Mitchell, 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 at all clear to me that they are mutually exclusive ...

Dark Emotions

Jenny Turner: The Women’s Liberation Movement, 24 September 2020

directed by Philippa Lowthorpe.
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directed by the Berwick Street Film Collective.
Lux/Koenig/Raven Row, £24, July 2019
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Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women's Liberation Movement, 1968-present 
by Margaretta Jolly.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.99, November 2019, 978 0 19 065884 7
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... important texts for Coote and Campbell, however, were both by British Marxist intellectuals: Juliet Mitchell’s ‘The Longest Revolution’, published in New Left Review in 1966 (Mitchell had hoped to do a whole special issue about women, but the rest of the editorial board wouldn’t have it), and Rowbotham’s ...

Pointing the Finger

Jacqueline Rose: ‘The Plague’, 7 May 2020

... for their barely won freedom. In the course of a public conversation with me ten years ago, Juliet Mitchell stated, to my complete surprise and that of our discussant, Jean Radford, that modern-day feminism, despite its setbacks and failings, had been an unqualified success. Because, she explained, feminism will always be ‘the longest ...

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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... ball, is pure girlitude. Tennant never escapes it. Towards the end of the book she is given Juliet Mitchell’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 February 1969, when she ...

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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... to me); recognise its stubbornness once it has been locked in place (what the feminist Juliet Mitchell 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 same time, moving on more than one front: for me ...

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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... 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 alone. The last point is oddly controversial. Facts about ...

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