Introduction
Dreamer, realist, analyst, writing
in Hélène Cixous
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This chapter provides a critical introduction to the voluminous writings of Hélène Cixous, foregrounding her importance in relation to literary studies, creative writing, autobiography and life writing, women’s writing and queer theory, psychoanalysis and deconstruction, poetic thinking and the visual arts. The chapter is organised around four principal motifs: Cixous as dreamer, realist and analyst, and finally (as if caught in the act) ‘writing’. In keeping with her own emphasis on the ‘play of the letter’, the book’s subtitle also provides an acronym: draw. The introduction closes with a discussion of Cixous’s interest in drawing and writing, and especially writing as drawing.

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