chapter  Chapter 10
17 Pages

Mysticism, Death and Desire in the Work of Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément

WithAmy Hollywood

For French feminist theorist Helene Cixous, the sexual politics of how love has traditionally been understood to negotiate a subject/object relation has been a constant preoccupation of her work, which is informed by, and contributes to, contemporary philosophical reflections on difference and subjectivity. Cixous’s engagement with origin stories, be they religious or mythic, is best understood with a view to her concern with thinking through the implications of sexual difference, and it is considerably more epistemological than it is ontological. Cixous seems to be suggesting here, and indeed throughout this text, that Promethea’s relation to presence is the source of a divine other-regarding love. Cixous’s use of two narrative voices simultaneously stages and displaces the dilemma for self/other relations that flow from a unified subject. The sheer diversity and volume of Cixous’s writing have inevitably led to a search for thematic and conceptual continuities.