New French Feminisms: An Anthology

By Elaine Marks; Isabelle De Courtivron | Go to book overview
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Hélène Cixous

Where is she?

Activity/passivity,
Sun/Moon,
Culture/Nature,
Day/Night,

Father/Mother,
Head/heart,
Intelligible/sensitive,
Logos/Pathos.

Form, convex, step, advance, seed, progress. Matter, concave, ground -- which supports the step, receptacle.

Man Woman

Always the same metaphor: we follow it, it transports us, in all of its forms, wherever a discourse is organized. The same thread, or double tress leads us, whether we are reading or speaking, through literature, philosophy, criticism, centuries of representation, of reflection.

Thought has always worked by opposition, Speech/Writing High/Low

From "Sorties" in La jeune née [The newly born woman] ( Union Générale d'Editions, 10/18, 1975). This is a text that combines essay, autobiography, and poeticprophetic prose. In this extract, Hélène Cixous suggests ways of deconstructing classical philosophical and psychoanalytic thought. The first part of La jeune née, "The Guilty One", is an essay by Catherine Clément on the witch and the hysteric, seduction and guilt.

-90-

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