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Author: Nicholas Royle

This book provides a lucid, wide-ranging and up-to-date critical introduction to the writings of Hélène Cixous (1937–). Cixous is often considered ‘difficult’. Moreover she is extraordinarily prolific, having published dozens of books, essays, plays and other texts. Royle avoids any pretence of a comprehensive survey, instead offering a rich and diverse sampling. At once expository and playful, original and funny, this micrological approach enables a new critical understanding and appreciation of Cixous’s writing. If there is complexity in her work, Royle suggests, there is also uncanny simplicity and great pleasure. The book focuses on key motifs such as dreams, the supernatural, literature, psychoanalysis, creative writing, realism, sexual differences, laughter, secrets, the ‘Mother unconscious’, drawing, painting, autobiography as ‘double life writing’, unidentifiable literary objects (ULOs), telephones, non-human animals, telepathy and the ‘art of cutting’. Particular stress is given to Cixous’s work in relation to Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida, as well as to her importance in the context of ‘English literature’. There are close readings of Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, P. B. Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, for example, alongside in-depth explorations of her own writings, from Inside (1969) and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1975) up to the present. Royle’s book will be of particular interest to students and academics coming to Cixous’s work for the first time, but it will also appeal to readers interested in contemporary literature, creative writing, life writing, narrative theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, ecology, drawing and painting.

Simon Wortham

? It is dead! I tell you it’s dead! … I’m totally convinced that deconstruction started dying from the very first day. Jacques Derrida, ‘As if I were dead’ 1 If it were possible to separate the two (as Baudrillard claims, and Derrida does not) I

in Rethinking the university
W. G. Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten
Dora Osborne

just by photographs, but also by oil paintings, frescoes, postcards, scaledrawings and sketches. In the proliferation of visual elements, the reader as viewer seems to be denied access to a comprehensive image of the emigrants themselves and is drawn instead into a relay between partial images. For their movement between revelation and obscurity, Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten might also be called ‘memoirs of the blind’. This supplementary sub-heading takes its cue from Derrida’s Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins, a text indebted to images and

in A literature of restitution
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The art of memory
Simon Wortham

history and of memory insofar as it relates to the institution of the institution. In ‘The art of memoires’ , the second in a series of three lectures given in memory of Paul de Man, Derrida draws attention to de Man’s strong reading of Hegel’s Aesthetics . Here are found difficult and discontinuous elements that, as de Man puts it, ‘cannot be

in Rethinking the university
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Walking on two feet
Simon Wortham

The aim of this book, baldly put, is to explore and develop key critical debates in the humanities in recent times (concerning, for example, postmodernism, new historicism, political criticism, cultural studies, interdisciplinarity, and deconstruction) in the context of the legitimation crisis widely felt to be facing academic institutions, using Derrida’s idea of leverage

in Rethinking the university
Economy, exchange and cultural theory
Simon Wortham

representation, lending an empirical tone – by way of a certain critical distance – to semiotic and cultural analysis; but they can also be taken to structure academic desire itself which needs to consume in order to know. This disorientation between outside and inside I will link to Derrida’s discussion of the gift as that which – in Mauss’s The Gift – enables a movement from ‘cold

in Rethinking the university
Glyn White

through the graphic surface, and this relationship may be usefully kept in mind when we examine the way structuralism and post-structuralism treat the plurality of their idealised text. What Jacques Derrida says of Philippe Sollers’s Numbers (an untranslated French novel that makes full use of its graphic surface) seems to demonstrate the lengths to which the text extends itself

in Reading the graphic surface
Simon Wortham

years ago with our eminent colleague, Professor Meyer Shapiro, on the subject of certain shoes in Van Gogh. Jacques Derrida, ‘Mochlos’ 1 Foot fetishism On the basis of my introductory discussion of disorientation and leverage in the university, negotiated through Derrida’s image of ‘walking on two

in Rethinking the university
Paul Wake

on death, little attempt is made to establish the nature of death itself. Jacques Derrida makes a similar complaint of history, revealing, in what he terms ‘radically absent questions’, the presuppositions with which analyses of Heart of Darkness often begin. He writes: the historian knows, thinks he knows, or grants to himself the unquestioned knowledge of what death is, of what being-dead means . . . The question of the meaning of death and of the word ‘death,’ the question ‘What is death in general?’ or ‘What is the experience of death?’ and the question of

in Conrad’s Marlow
Nicholas Royle

enchantment and enchancement, fate and (in Freud’s phrase) ‘a kind of magic’, perhaps, and above all the fairy or demon of literary fiction . 1 As Derrida comments, with respect to the fort-da movement of Beyond the Pleasure Principle : ‘ “literary fiction” … already watches over, like a fairy or demon [ comme une fée ou un demon ], the structure of the fort:da , its scene of writing or of inheritance in dissemination’. 2 It watches over everything, it watches, it wakes, to awake: fairyground analysis. They’re not interested in resting inter or transitioning, in

in Hélène Cixous