formation in the ‘mirror phase’. He writes: ‘the auto-affective voice of selfpresence and self-mastery was constantly opposed by its reverse side, the
intractable voice of the other, the voice one could not control’.14 French feminists, including Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray, theorize a form of feminine
writing (écriture féminine) that incorporates women’s vocality, referencing key
ideas in Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis while resisting their patriarchal paradigms. Some of these ideas became very influential in the interdisciplinary work done by
History (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 63.
54 Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin
Mary (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976), p. 67.
55 I am reminded of Cixous’ Sorties (‘Where is she?’) here, in which she lists
a series of gender-related binaries, including ‘Writing/Speech, Day/Night,
Culture/Nature’ (see Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron (eds), New
French Feminisms, Hemel Hempstead, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1981, pp.
56 ‘I am a Tory because I cannot help myself’, Ford averred in 1911, continuing, ‘I am
included Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva. These psychoanalytic
feminists have argued that ‘Masculinity controls even at the level of
the unconscious, and women operate within the confines of masculine unconscious structures and have been turned into misogynists,
despising their own womanhood. To free themselves from this internalised oppression, each woman must, according to Psych et Po, work
to “chase the phallus from her head”’ (Duchen 1986: 20).
The need to be seen through other than patriarchal eyes guides
Amira in her selection of the man she hires to
’écriture féminine (Cixous, 1994) made
literal is the body writing the poem, the poem written in the body, a
literature of action.
At the back of her book XEclogue, Robertson records:
XEclogue has had many houseguests. Eighteenth century poet, traveller,
and political critic Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote a series of
privately distributed satirical poems called ‘City Eclogues’, these were
my introduction to their genre. Frank O’Hara and Virgil extended its
horizon. Throughout XEclogue, the shorter, italicised songs of roaring
boys mistranslate the anonymous Latin of the
and fear of each other (Cixous, 1993). The problems of responding to suffering bring us up against the limits as well as the strengths of the available mechanisms and presumptions regarding rights and ethics – whether liberal or other models. And the closer we come to the ‘face of the victim’ the more obdurate the problems can be. A change of government, or of particular laws, or a significant increase of resources can sometimes remove certain kinds of harm. The legal system, or a process of reconciliation, can be a public recognition of abuse, and may offer some
silent. She speaks
after, she depends on others’ discourses and becomes merely their echo.’ 16 Of
course, Echo’s most famous case of vocal resonance is with Narcissus. Thus
her ‘tragedy’ of only repeating what others say takes on a gendered power
dynamic. Yet, working through the feminine writing (Écriture feminine) of
Hélène Cixous, Cavarero argues that Echo’s vocal repetition can be a source
of pleasure, as opposed to tragedy:
This pleasure in vocal repetition is not even perceived as compulsive; rather,
by evading the semantic, it rediscovers a time in which such