Another great bit of text from Alice Jardine's At the Risk of Thinking: An Intellectual Biography of Julia Kristeva, which explains why Jardine is writing the book.
I remain fascinated by Kristeva’s work in an unresolved way. [In wirting this book, I'm engaging with Kristeva's thinking and] I am also searching for an etiology that is not an origin, but rather a start to figuring out what it means to be an intellectual in the twenty-first century. Not an aesthete. Not an expert. Not a politician. Not even a scholar. Rather, what Kristeva calls a contestatory intellectual. That is what I try to be, but it is hard. I have not succeeded yet as I write these words.
I think this is so well written! The part that really stands out to me as so honest, clear, and good is the last bit: "That is what I try to be, but it is hard. I have not succeeded yet as I write these words."
Writing with this clarity and humility is something I aspire to.