24 November 2008

Hélène Cixous --- WRITE!

I say yes. Yes, Hélène Cixous, yes.

Writing: as if I had the urge to go on enjoying, to feel full, to push, to feel the force of my muscles, and my harmony, to be pregnant and at the same time to give myself the joys of parturition, the joys of both the mother and the child. To give birth to myself and to nurse myself, too. Life summons life. Pleasure seeks renewal.
-- "Coming to Writing"

It is time to liberate the New Woman from the Old by coming to know her -- by loving her for getting by, for getting beyond the Old without delay, by going out ahead of what the new Woman will be, as an arrow quits the bow with a movement that gathers and separates the vibrations musically, in order to be more than her self.

Listen to a woman speak at a public gathering (if she hasn't painfully lost her wind). She doesn't 'speak', she throws her trembling body forward; she lets go of herself, she flies; all of her passes into her voice, and it's with her body that she vitally supports the 'logic' of her speech. Her flesh speaks true. She lays herself bare. In fact, she physically materializes what she's thinking; she signifies it with her body. In a certain way she inscribes what she's saying, because she doesn't deny her drives the intractable and impassioned part they have in speaking. Her speech, even when 'theoretical' or political, is never simple or linear or 'objectified', generalized: she draws her story into history.
-- "The Laugh of the Medusa"

And why don't you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you haven't written. (And why I didn't write before the age of 27.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it's reserved for the great - that is, for great "men"; and it's "silly". Besides, you've written a little, but in secret. And it wasn't good, because it was secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn't go all the way; or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension of it, just to take the edge off. And then as soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty - so as to be forgiven; to forget, to bury it until next time.

Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: not man; not the imbecilic capitalist machinery, in which the publishing houses are the crafty, obsequious relayers of imperatives handed down by an economy that works against us and off our backs; not yourself. Smug-faced readers, managing editors, and big bosses don't like the true texts of women - female-sexed texts. That kind scares them.
-summer, 1976

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