CIXOUS LAUGH OF THE MEDUSA PDF

Her main focus, at this time, was English literature and the works of James Joyce. She published Voiles Veils with Jacques Derrida and her work is often considered deconstructive. In introducing her Wellek Lecture, subsequently published as Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, Derrida referred to her as the greatest living writer in his language French. Her reading of Derrida finds additional layers of meaning at a phonemic rather than strictly lexical level. Along with Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva , Cixous is considered one of the mothers of poststructuralist feminist theory. Like other poststructuralist feminist theorists, Cixous believes that our sexuality is directly tied to how we communicate in society.

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They all were highly influenced by theories of post-structuralism and psychoanalysis. These French feminists like Cixous both used and critiqued the ideas of such theories to question and challenge the male hegemony. The ideas of Derrida was used to critique the notion of binaries and the very nature of language, meaning and the way language plays a heavy role in the subordination of women, as majority of the concepts and ideas are prejudiced against women and are socially and culturally constructed by male hegemony to keep women under perpetual state of subordination.

Cixous seminal work was titled as The laugh of Medusa and Sorties both of which were published in In this work The laugh of Medusa, Cixous uses psychoanalysis, inspired by the work of Lacan as mentioned above, to interpret the Greek mythology in a manner that challenges the patriarchal hegemony. Through this work, Cixous is urging women to write extensively, as this is the platform that can change the history, oppose the male hegemony that has suppressed them and kept them away from such art.

Cixous want women to write in a unique manner, using a pro-female language that celebrates womanhood, their body and sexuality which have been repressed over the centuries. Cixous uses the Greek myth of monster Medusa, who has been depicted as a fierce, ugly woman, full of rage and has snakes instead of hairs on her head, to argue that this narrative of Medusa have been distorted by patriarchal man to depict woman who has desires as dangerous and ugly, contrary to the beautiful, loyal and virgin princess that is adored by them.

This is what Cixous wants women to be, to be rebellious in nature that defies all boundaries and structure that patriarchy wants to restraint women in.

Your body must be heard.

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The Laugh of the Medusa

They all were highly influenced by theories of post-structuralism and psychoanalysis. These French feminists like Cixous both used and critiqued the ideas of such theories to question and challenge the male hegemony. The ideas of Derrida was used to critique the notion of binaries and the very nature of language, meaning and the way language plays a heavy role in the subordination of women, as majority of the concepts and ideas are prejudiced against women and are socially and culturally constructed by male hegemony to keep women under perpetual state of subordination. Cixous seminal work was titled as The laugh of Medusa and Sorties both of which were published in In this work The laugh of Medusa, Cixous uses psychoanalysis, inspired by the work of Lacan as mentioned above, to interpret the Greek mythology in a manner that challenges the patriarchal hegemony. Through this work, Cixous is urging women to write extensively, as this is the platform that can change the history, oppose the male hegemony that has suppressed them and kept them away from such art. Cixous want women to write in a unique manner, using a pro-female language that celebrates womanhood, their body and sexuality which have been repressed over the centuries.

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Helene Cixous

In the essay, Cixous issues an ultimatum: that women can either read and choose to stay trapped in their own bodies by a language that does not allow them to express themselves, or they can use the body as a way to communicate. This text is situated in a history of feminist conversations that separated women in terms of their gender and women in terms of authorship. Cixous uses the term the "Logic of Antilove" to describe her understanding of the systematic oppression of women by patriarchal figures. She defines the Logic of Antilove as the self-hatred women have, "they have made for women an antinarcissism! The essay includes the argument that writing is a tool women must use to advocate for themselves in order to acquire the freedom women have historically been denied. Cixous builds the text using the elements of this mode and fills it with literary allusions.

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Hélène Cixous

Her main point in the article is that women should pursue writing despite attempts to drive them away from the field in the past. She also demonstrates how feminine writing can look like through the text itself. Cixous holds that women seldom wrote in history since they were denied such a position. If a woman did write it was considered "nonsense". The point in urging women to write is so that they can "write women", women created and written by women and not the by men. Cixous stresses that women should not internalize images projected onto them by men, images that alienated women from a sense of self-worth found in writing. Cixous argues in "The Laugh of the Medusa" that a woman should write texts and herself in two ways: on a personal and historical level.

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