New French Feminisms: An Anthology

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

Julia Kristeva

In all the theatrical representations that I saw in China there was not a single hero: it's the heroines who rise up in rebellion but also who give a dramatic turn to events because, if the situation remains in their hands it deteriorates and the party has to intervene to set things straight. Chinese women are rebels, a "half of the sky" but constantly moving "against the stream" of the sky. They represent a force -- probably an essential force -- in the cultural revolution that is now under way.

It is impossible to equate their problems with ours. It is also impossible to expect from them, as they emerge from feudalism and Confucianism, the solution to the difficulties of Occidental women wedged in by monotheism and capitalism. But with Chinese women as a starting point, we can examine the weight of a metaphysical tradition and a mode of production which have functioned in this part of the world because of the complicity of our language or our dead silence. We can give a political dimension to our protest: the importance of women's awakening for the structures of a socialist society, its essentially international role because it eats away at the foundations of Occidentalism. We can try to write, to pursue this inquiry "à la chinoise": against what is and with everything that here, today, is moving "against the stream."

Translated by Elaine Marks

From "Les chinoises à 'contre-courant'" [Chinese women against the tide] in Tel quel, Autumn 1974.

-240-

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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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