New French Feminisms: An Anthology

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

Why This Book?

"We translate what the American women write, they never translate our texts." This complaint by Hélène Cixous, one of France's leading women writers, is accurate. There are exceptions,1 but in general the texts that have been produced in France since May 1968 around and about the women's liberation movement are not known in the United States. Our book is therefore the beginning of an exchange.

What is going on in France has certain surface resemblances to what has been happening in the United States. There has been a temporary working together of diverse women's groups on such central issues as contraception and abortion; a split between reformists and radicals; a development of tensions, often ruptures, between homosexuals and heterosexuals; a formation of early links, later shattered, between feminist movements and other political, social movements whose goal is also to change both consciousness and the quality of life. Although the proportion of women involved in the women's liberation movement is significantly higher in the United States than it is in France, although consciousness-raising groups on the American model are virtually non-

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1
The exceptions include: Hélène Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa," trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen, Signs, 1, no. 4 ( Summer 1976): 875-93; Hélène Cixous interviewed by Christiane Makward, Sub-Stance, no. 13 ( 1976): 19-37; Hélène Cixous , "La jeune née: An Excerpt", trans. Meg Bortin, Diacritics, Summer 1977, pp. 64-69; Marguerite Duras, "An Interview with Marguerite Duras" by Susan Husserl-Kapit , Signs 1, no. 2 ( Winter 1975): 423-34; Julia Kristeva, "On the Women of China", trans. Ellen Conroy Kennedy, Signs 1, no. 1 ( Autumn 1975): 57-81; Julia Kristeva interviewed by Josette Féral, trans. Jane Kritzman, Sub-Stance, no. 13 ( 1976) pp. 9-18. We should also mention the occasional, often truncated interviews with Simone de Beauvoir by Alice Schwarzer, trans. Helen Eustis, in Ms., July 1972, pp. 60, 62-63,134 and July 1977, pp. 12-13, 15-16, and a dialogue between Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan in Saturday Review, June 14, 1975, pp. 14, 16-18, 20, 56. The only longer works of importance that have been translated are: Monique Wittig, Les guérillères, trans. David LeVay( Avon Books, 1973); and Julia Kristeva, About Chinese Women, trans. Anita Barrows ( Urizen Books, 1977).

-ix-

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New French Feminisms: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Why This Book? ix
  • Introductions 1
  • Annie Leclerc 79
  • Claudine Herrmann 87
  • Hélène Cixous 90
  • Luce Irigaray 99
  • Warnings 115
  • Antoinette Fouque 117
  • Denise Le Dantec 119
  • Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi 120
  • Arlette Laguiller 121
  • Madeleine Vincent 125
  • Catherine Clément 130
  • Julia Kristeva 137
  • Simone De Beauvoir 142
  • Creations 159
  • Xavière Gauthier 161
  • Julia Kristeva 165
  • Claudine Herrmann 168
  • Marguerite Duras 174
  • Chantal Chawaf 177
  • Madeleine Gagnon 179
  • Viviane Forrester 181
  • Christiane Rochefort 183
  • Research on Women 211
  • Variations on Common Themes 212
  • Utopias 231
  • Simone De Beauvoir 233
  • Françoise Parturier 234
  • Françoise D'Eaubonne 236
  • Annie Leclerc 237
  • Marguerite Duras 238
  • Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi 239
  • Julia Kristeva 240
  • Julia Kristeva 241
  • Monique Wittig 242
  • Suzanne Horer Jeanne Socquet 243
  • Hélène Cixous 245
  • Index 271
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