In her seminal work “The Laugh of the Medusa” feminist thinker Helene Cixous deals with the topic of feminine writing. Her main point in the. Hélène Cixous did not mince words when she published “Le Rire de la Méduse” (“The Laugh of the Medusa) in , where she claimed that. The Laugh of the Medusa has ratings and 78 reviews. Christopher said: If you have the opportunity, then I would suggest reading this work in french.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Cixous is issuing her female readers an ultimatum of sorts: It is a strident critique of logocentrism and phallogocentrism, having much in common with Jacques Derrida’s earlier thought.

The essay also calls for an acknowledgment of universal bisexuality or polymorphous perversity, a precursor of queer theory’s later emphases, and swiftly rejects many kinds of essentialism which were still common in Anglo-American feminism at the time. The essay also exemplifies Cixous’s style of writing in that it is richly intertextual, making a wide range of literary allusions.

Journal of Women in Culture and Society’, Vol. Published by The University of Chicago Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Laugh of the Medusaplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Laugh of the Medusa. Lists with This Book. Apr 16, Christopher rated it really liked it. If you have the opportunity, then I would suggest reading this work in french. It is only then that you will see the marvelous writing of Helene Cixous.

Derrida was once quoted as saying that Cixous was the best contemporary french author, and I do not have my doubts about that. In this manifesto, Cixous calls out to all women, saying, “now is the time to write! As such, I find Cixous’ writing to be quite relevant for a growing generation of women and men that seek to re-define equality and promote sexual difference. Mar 08, Josiah Patterson rated it it was amazing Shelves: As a feminist essay, The Laugh of the Medusa is written specifically to women imploring them to write.

In all aspects, her writing is concise, navigable and powerfully sturring. Through this As a feminist essay, The Laugh of the Medusa is written specifically to women imploring them to write. For man has his own right to say where his own masculinity and femininity are at and to see themselves clearly—just as women have that same right. Cixous calls for a move from the Old woman to the New woman by knowing her and by inscribing her femininity.


Hélène Cixous – Wikipedia

The first is the woman individually. She must write her self and reclaim the body that has been taken from her. Use her body to reclaim the whole self and cease being the shadow of man. This reclamation is done through writing and is only accomplished through her self-realization for her self-realization.

Women must utilize this power that is both innate and permeating in order to create her new history. Man has always reduced writing to his own definitions and laws, trying to set a distinction between masculine and feminine writing.

Hélène Cixous and the myth of Medusa

Yet, it is women who must reclaim the feared Medusa and fortify the thought that woman is not a castrated man—she holds her own sexuality and her own representation. Women must revolt from this suppression with explosion through language and through writing. A new history must be created out of a new relationship. All old concepts must be lifted away from nelene phallocentric to a new hierarchal exchange with the opposition [man].

Women must write to accomplish this. To write is to give without measurement, without the assurance of something in return. Writing is a birth and a transformation, unhindered by the Old history that came before.

Hélène Cixous and the myth of Medusa – Dangerous Women Project

Oct 19, Anushka rated it really liked it Shelves: Mar 18, Ruby rated it really liked it Shelves: May 11, Carolyn rated it really liked it. En liten men explosiv volym.

Som tar plats och som uppmanar.

Dec 22, Stephen Secomb rated it really liked it. My immediate desire is to dust off my best level scholarly tone and write a scathing review. I want to lash out, to hurt. But honestly, what’s From: But honestly, what’s the point after so long? And who could be bothered reading it anyway? There are already more than enough carefully studied, scholarly words cluttering up the intellectual ether. Besides, my reaction has little, if anything, to do with reason or ideas or clever sequences of words.

Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: Conventional man is as alien to me now as he was when, a quarter of a century ago, I was sent from my mother’s side and the lauyh of women to find my own place in the world. He was wary of me. He tried medysa teach me. My difference was a problem a threat? Real men don’t play with the girls, or read books or do their homework or try to please the teacher.

Real men play football and laugh and shout and boast. Real men fight amongst themselves. Real men take pride in remaining impassive. Take it like a man! Real men don’t cry! He had names for me: Tje these were meeusa words. He also hit and punched and kicked me, my difference. The paternal ‘discipline’, the schoolyard tousles and torments – every day new, more ingenious versions.


Boys developing their creativity, their self-expression. I left school as early as I legally could to try and find my place in the adult world. But then there was the street-strutting machismo and the bastardisation visited by tradesman on non-conforming apprentice. So I became strong. Where once conventional man knew I was frightened, helrne if he beat me I’d cry, Laguh learned to use my understanding for protection. I came to know his drives, and I could sense the finest changes in his moods and stand aside for self-protection.

I learned how to fend off impending violence with words. Lsugh began to confront him with his violence, throw it back in his face, or else placate him with soothing, cooing noises. I was no longer afraid.

He could no oaugh hurt me, but neither did he, nor could he, include me in his world. He lived the only life he knew, the only world, but it was a world from which I was precluded by my own ‘I-hood’. Ah, the stuff of dreams. I write my otherness, my difference to conventional man, in faith. I was other to his rivalries and spirit of competition. My world was a world of care for others, of intimacy, inclusion, reciprocity, sharing. I medhsa other to his instincts as hunter and organizer.

My instincts told me to go out and experience the world in its unaltered and chaotic grandeur. I was other to his unerring insight into the weak point and his drive to exploit this for whatever heoene good he may conceive. I was other to his passion for prowess and performance and control and mastery, and to his pride in achievement.

I could at best achieve a measure of self-control, self-mastery. Beyond that I had to take the world as it unfolded before me, in this Ghe could see no alternative. Men still have everything to say about their sexuality, everything to write. I listened to their tales of fucking and fighting and cars and felt like I was from another universe. Theirs’ were tales of conquest; of hunting and overcoming; of victor and vanquished. This was all alien to me. I knew nothing of sexual conquest, I thought sexuality was about mutuality, trust, honesty, sharing.

My sexuality was about the interplay of mind, body and heart times two. It was about play; about teasing, withholding, surrendering. It was about inventiveness; about finding new and interesting things about my partner, and about myself.

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