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albolton's picture

Spivak & Cixous

First impressions:

Spivak--Kind of tiresome ranting, but it would be interesting to get ahold of both Jane Eyre and Wild Sargasso Sea and read them together.

Cixous--This is poetry more than an essay.

Later thoughts:

 My opinion on Spivak hasn't changed much with re-reading, but I've appreciated hearing (by proxy) the insights shared in class, and thoughts posted here so far.  Political discussion always seems to make me angry and sad--not a productive combination.  (But I'm still interested in trying the JE/WSS experiment, though not so analytically as she might suggest.)

On the third reading of Cixous, she started to make sense to me, and I think in terms of "contributing to a current feminist praxis" she offers ever so much more than Spivak.  It is so much more inspiring to be exhorted to set ourselves free to do what we can do than to continue with rounds and rounds of recriminations for past injustices.  Cixous says "write," but Abby recognizes that not only writing, but painting, songs, cooking, theoretical imaginings, etc., etc. are all ways in which we can (and should) creatively express ourselves as seems appropriate to each individual.  (Thanks, Abby, for expressing that so clearly.)

I think again we may be confronting the difference between feminism per se and feminist literary criticism.  As Matos says, Spivak may contribute more to literary criticism, but I think Cixous offers more to a feminist life (if only we can live up to her lofty expectations.) 

--Alex '65




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