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The Newly Born Woman (Theory and History of Literature #24)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  175 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Published in France as Le jeune née in 1975, and found here in its first English translation, The Newly Born Woman is a landmark text of the modern feminist movement. In it, Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément put forward the concept of écriture feminine, exploring the ways women’s sexuality and unconscious shape their imaginary, their language, and their writing. Through ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 16th 1986 by University of Minnesota Press (first published 1975)
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I'm not exaggerating all that much when I say I can split my intellectual life pre-Newly Born Woman and post-Newly Born Woman.
"Wouldn't the worst thing be--isn't the worst thing that, really, woman is not castrated, that all on has to do is not listen to the sirens (because the sirens were men) for history to change its sense, its direction? All you have to do to see the Medusa is look her in the face: and she isn't deadly. She is beautiful, and she laughs."

"On the basis of my desire, I imagine that other desires like mine exist. If my desire is possible, it means the system is already letting something else through. A
Mar 09, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing
This book is hard to get ahold of, which I suspect is exactly what it wants to be. It moves through different voices, registers, and discourses to forward evocative and provocative feminist rhetorics. I was especially keen on "A Woman Mistress," a section in which the two writers discuss their approaches' implications for teaching and mastery.

The Newly Born Woman is made up of three primary sections, each with its own relatively distinct voice. The writers of the first and second are not clearly
"When I write, all those that we don’t know we can be write themselves from me, without exclusion, without prediction, and everything that we will be calls us to the tireless, intoxicating, tender-costly-search for love. We will never lack ourselves." -Cixous

I can't say that I particularly understand, or necessarily even like, Cixous's crazed mix of poetry, theory, autobiography, literary criticism, and stream-of-consciousness. I lose myself in her pages, and the ideas blur in my head like water
I don't think I can provide a fair rating since I have not read Catherine Clément's contribution to the text. However, I will say that Hélène Cixous's writing has been immeasurably important in shaping not only my academic projects, but my overall view on women's writing and subjectivity.
May 18, 2013 Brittany rated it really liked it
Helene teaches us about women and how we should take control of the phallocentricity of all written languages, she uses a circular, almost spoken word way of writing to emphasize her point. It's hard to understand at moments but that is the whole point she is trying to make.
Dec 23, 2014 Tiara rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tiara by: Dr. Mehta. My forever confidante
Shelves: 2014
je sais que je suis censé aimer ce livre, mais il est très difficille. Quelqufois quand je l'ai lu, je pensais que Cixous me déteste. maintenant je sais que je ne comprends pas tout et je ne le ferais jamais, mais je reviendrai sur ce livre toujours.
Jan 15, 2013 Kit rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recentlyread
A fascinating mix of memoir, psychoanalytic theory, and political statement. The first section might come off as being relatively esoteric and of narrow interest, though its implicit value grows more apparent as one reads the other sections.
Jun 11, 2013 Victoria rated it really liked it
Cixous' essay "Sorties" is the highlight of the book.
Sep 12, 2008 Barbara rated it liked it
Sisters are doin' it for themselves!
Sarahc Caflisch
Sep 11, 2010 Sarahc Caflisch rated it it was amazing
Back to Cixous, FYI.
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Hélène Cixous is a Jewish-French, Algerian-born feminist well-known as one of the founders of poststructuralist feminist theory along with Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva. She is now a professor of English Literature at University of Paris VIII and chairs the Centre de Recherches en Etudes Féminines which she founded in 1974.

She has published numerous essays, playwrights, novels, poems and litera
More about Hélène Cixous...

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“If my desire is possible, it means the system is already letting something else through.” 16 likes
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