chapter  5
Pages 27

Hélène Cixous is a specular border intellectual whose work is widely acclaimed and ensconced firmly in the interstitial space between theory and fiction. Her work is often described as écriture feminine, feminine writing, not only because of its rather poetic style but also because of the way it captures the position of women who have been ‘silenced in and alienated from culture’ (Rye 2002: 166). Cixous herself informs the reader of the different forms of writing that she is engaged in as well as the different ways in which her audience, depending upon their location, ‘know’ her: as a playwright, novelist, or theoretician. In the United States, which Cixous has often visited since the 1960s, she has been known, until recently, principally as a theorist. Cixous has recalled her fascination and engagement with New York in her recent work, Manhattan Letters from Prehistory (2007). What is interesting is that Cixous herself seems to feed the very separation of her persona, albeit proclaiming that she can only be understood by taking into account all her

diverse activities. She informs her audience that ‘in fictional texts I work in a poetic form and in philosophical contents on the mysteries of subjectivity’ (cited in Sellers 1994: xvi).