Cixous Hélène

<history of philosophy, biography> algerian-French philosopher and literary critic (1937- ). Employing Derrida's methods of deconstruction in Entré l'Écriture (Coming to Writing) (1986) and Le Jeune Née (The Newly Born Woman) (1975), Cixous proposed the creation of literary works by Ècriture féminine, "writing the body" in order to undermine the influence of masculine language. Since the feminine is always regarded as other and inferior in the dichotomies fostered by logocentric patriarchy, Cixous maintains that women can elude male domination only by rejecting the binary oppositions inherent in symbolic language. By celebrating historically-repressed differences, she believes, victims of repression forge the new identities upon which a genuinely post-colonial and post-patriarchal society might be founded. Recommended Reading: The Hélène Cixous Reader, ed. by Susan Sellers and Jacques Derrida (Routledge, 1994); Verena Andermatt Conley, Hélène Cixous: Writing the Feminine (Nebraska, 1991); The Body and the Text: Hélène Cixous, Reading and Teaching, ed. by Helen Wilcox, Keith McWatters, Ann Thompson, and Linda R. Williams (St. Martin's, 1991); and Hélène Cixous (Toronto, 1992).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2001-10-14>

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