Helene Cixous

Helene Cixous : Authorship, Autobiography and Love

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This is an introductory study of the work of Helene Cixous, novelist, dramatist and critic, whose work has had an extensive impact on the new French feminist theoretical movement.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 216 pages
  • 152.7 x 229.4 x 17mm | 331.13g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0745612555
  • 9780745612553

Back cover copy

This book is a clear and accessible introduction to the writings ofHelene Cixous, novelist, dramatist and critic, whose work has had amajor impact on feminist theory and practice.

Susan Sellers, a major scholar on Cixous, provides a lucidaccount of Cixous's theoretical position, and in particular herdistinctive theory of an 'écriture féminine'. Shediscusses the development of Cixous's literary oeuvre in thecontext of this theory, and analyses a selection of the works indetail to illustrate the different stages in Cixous's writingcareer.

Focusing on the key novels and plays, Sellers explores a rangeof issues and themes central to her work; the correlation betweenthe death of Cixous's own father and her 'coming-into-being' as awriter; the psychological process of separation and individuationand the creation of a female authorial self; the discovery of theother and the dramatization of love; the delineation/depiction ofan alternative form of relationship between self and other whichwould have a significance in a wider sphere than that of the merelypersonal.

This much-needed book will be welcomed by students in literatureand literary theory, feminism and women's studies, English andFrench studies and philosophy.
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Table of contents

1. The Early Texts.
2. Creating a Feminine Subject.
3. Writing with the Voice of the Other.
4. Cixous and the Theatre.
5. Recent Writings.
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Review quote

"The exceptional clarity of Sellers expositions are backed up by an unerring choice of the clearest and most approachable quotations from Cixousa s work. Her ability to do this stems from her unrivalled knowledge of Cixousa s work. She has done an excellent job of making a notoriously difficult writer accessible to undergraduates." Dr Elizabeth Fallaize, St. Johna s College, Oxford "A clear and scholarly introduction to the fiction and drama of Francea s foremost "poet--thinker" (to borrow Derridaa s phrase). Using a novel approach for Politya s excellent Key Contemporary Thinkers series, Sellers concentrates primarily on Cixousa s work in practice, and not in theory ... thus she offers an exposition of Cixousa s (elusive) statements on ecriture feminine, which should itself prove useful to the uninitiated reader. Sellers remains appropriately dispassionate, yet she is an enthusiastic reader ... Sellers allows another Cixous, Cixous the author, to be reborn in her reading." Times Literary Supplement "Helene Cixous: Authorship, Autobigraphy and Love provides an ideal way in to the fiction of Helene Cixous. Sellersa s account of Cixousa s complexities is refreshingly clear and accessible, while her insights are convincingly articulated." Professor Whitford, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London "Sellers brings to Cixous, a notoriously difficult writer, an admirable lucidity of her own. She presents Cixous in a clear, comprehensible fashion and her choice of quotation is excellent, such that the book provides a wonderful taster for Cixousa s work in general. Further, Sellers adopts a chronological approach that lays out Cixousa s development without any distractions and provides very honestly her own reactions to Cixousa s work, in a manner that intriguingly undercuts Cixousa s own claims." Nate News "This book offers an accessible, jargon--free introduction to Helene Cixous that is clearly aimed at a student market." MLR "This book is essential reading as an introduction not only to Cixousa writing in all its facets -- critical theory, plays, fiction -- but to the whole area of writing in the feminine. With welcome clarity, but faithfulness to complexity, Sellers makes accessible "ecriture femine" and the gamut of dramatisations which occur across Cixousa oeuvre. Undergraduates and graduates alike will find this a springboard to an understanding of French feminism and a fine example of how to write well." Forum for Modern Language Studies "Sellersa book operates best as a general introduction, differing from existing introductory studies, by not only following a particular trajectory in Cixousa s work, but also including sustained analyses of her fiction and her writing for the theatre...The format Sellers chooses...brings welcome clarity to the complexity of Cixousa s prolific oeuvre...Sellers has a thorough knowledge of Cixousa s work and her readings do full justice to its richly connotative poetical language, to its themes which impact on personal, political and ethical issues, and to the open--ended nature of the texts wherein, to my mind, lies Cixousa s real generosity as a writer." "Feminist theory and practice will always be indebted to this book... Her evocative prose, her uncompromising political stand and her regard for the politics of difference..." Shelly Walia, Spectrum
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