Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing

Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing

Paperback Wellek Library Lectures (Paperback)

By (author) Helene Cixous, By (author) Susan Sellers, Translated by Sarah E. Cornell

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  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 162 pages
  • Dimensions: 148mm x 228mm x 12mm | 222g
  • Publication date: 22 December 1994
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0231076592
  • ISBN 13: 9780231076593
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Sales rank: 73,639

Product description

Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing is a poetic, insightful, and ultimately moving exploration of 'the strange science of writing.' In a magnetic, irresistible narrative, Cixous reflects on the writing process and explores three distinct areas essential for 'great' writing: The School of the Dead -- the notion that something or someone must die in order for good writing to be born; The School of Dreams -- the crucial role dreams play in literary inspiration and output; and The School of Roots -- the importance of depth in the 'nether realms' in all aspects of writing. Cixous's love of language and passion for the written word is evident on every page. Her emotive style draws heavily on the writers she most admires: the Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector, the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, the Austrian novelists Ingeborg Bachmann and Thomas Bernhard, Dostoyevsky and, most of all, Kafka.

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Author information

Helene Cixous has published more than thirty works of fiction, plays, and essays. Her recent books translated into English include 'Coming to Writing' and Other Essays; Inside; The Exile of James Joyce; Portrait of Dora; The Newly Born Woman; and Reading with Clarice Lispector.

Review quote

"Hilhne Cixous is today, in my view, the greatest writer in what I will call my language, the French language if you like. And I am weighing my words as I say that. For a great writer must be a poet-thinker, very much a poet and a very thinking poet." -- Jacques Derrida

Back cover copy

This is a poetic, insightful, and ultimately moving exploration of 'the strange science of writing.' In a magnetic, irresistible narrative, Cixous reflects on the writing process and explores three distinct areas essential for 'great' writing.

Table of contents

The School of the DeadThe School of DreamsThe School of RootsNotes