Friday 9 October 2009

Hélène Cixous on Writing and Reading

Loving all things - well, most things - French, my eye was caught byHelan Cixoux 001 Hélène Cixous’s book Rootprints, Memory and Lifewriting, a perceptive treatise on her ideas, her fiction and her essays. The book is in translation (Mireille Calle-Gruber) with whom there is a (very) long interview. As well as this the ideas are grounded in philosophical thought, so it is a hard read. But buried in there are some great gems – food for thought for writers and readers alike.

(NB The quaint syntax is possibly down to the translation, possibly not…)

Hélène Cixous on

The position of writing

The initial position is a leaving oneself go, leaving oneself sink to the bottom of the now. This presupposes a conscious belief in something, a force and materiality that will come, manifest itself, an ocean, a current that is always there, that will rise and carry me. It is very physical.

Where I begin to write, that’s what it is, it is physical…

As for reading: reading feels to me like a making love, the string element in reading is the ‘leaving oneself (be) read’, to be read by the text…

I was tempted to transliterate it into my kind of English but its very strangeness is arresting, makes one concentrate on untangling what she really means.

Helan Cixoux 002

Just a thought


1 comment:

  1. So pleased that you mentioned Cixous and Rootprints. My writing mentor used an extract as a prompt for one of our early group sessions and I was quite mesmerised. And I now include this book in my bloglist of Writing for Writers. You are right; it's a challenging read but so worthwhile for the gems.



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