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especially the Pentateuch, along with her formative experiences of anti-Semitism, cannot be underestimated. Surely they too are profound influences on the formation of what I am here arguing is an essential aspect of all her writing, her desire for a loving, non-exclusionary, love of the other. While I think the question of the relationship between Cixous’ ideas on love and difference as they bear specifically on the influences of Judaism would be an important and revealing study, it is not one with which I am engaged here. Specifically, and to reiterate, my interest is

in The subject of love

encyclopaedic account and retrieval of hope as manifested in the surplus desires of past cultures, movements, and wish-​images. Yet despite maintaining an enduring, militant hope at its core, most evaluations of critical theory, and of its place within the history of leftist thought, point to a profound and debilitating sense of loss, defeat, pessimism, and hopelessness. The Frankfurt School’s gloomiest remarks are often invoked simply to reproduce tired caricatures of ‘radicals in despair’,3 an aloof group of cultural mandarins offering precious little support for the

in Critical theory and feeling
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Philosophy, theology, and French feminism

’s affinity with desire made it an obvious target for anxieties about self-interest in a dualistic world that had already separated mind and body. Thus, in many respects, interpretations of Plato which rely on and emphasise this dualistic vision of human beingness mark a significant shift on the path of foreclosing on the possibility of understanding the body as the site of generous love. Cupid’s arrows, particularly as they relate to the body, are the symbols of that which must be overcome. In the terms of early Greek philosophy, the body was understood as the site of a

in The subject of love
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which form the raw material of her published work.124 Throughout the body of the text of Rootprints, the pages are punctuated by boxed extracts from those notebooks and journals. At times the content of these boxes appear like a narrator, offering a glimpse of what we as readers, either consciously or unconsciously, desire to be the ‘truth of the text’, the ‘truth of Hélène’. Thus, 124 Cixous’ notebooks have since been edited and translated by Susan Sellers and published in a bilingual edition entitled simply Writing Notebooks (2006c). 191 9780719069604_5_end1.qxd

in The subject of love

for her new inquiry in ‘Grace and Innocence’. Her earlier reflections on love opened onto a new way of thinking about divinity in the light of her developing understanding of a feminine economy of desire. What is at stake continues to be a reconfiguration of the oppositional structure of self/other relations that has seen difference subordinated to sameness, in favour of a way of thinking about relations of difference that open on to life. Perhaps in this context, then, it is no surprise that Cixous finds herself beginning ‘Grace and Innocence’ by turning to an

in The subject of love

antithesis of the masculine subject of modernity whose self-conscious agency is revealed in the desire to be in possession of a knowledge that functions to affirm his possession of himself. ‘He’ is the subject who wants and desires; ‘he’ is the subject of whom Cixous wrote in ‘Sorties’, the masculine subject who precedes himself and the world and who returns to himself the profit of his encounters with the world and others. 9780719069604_4_005.qxd 09/01/2009 09:57 AM Page 165 Divine Promethean love Against this background, Cixous’ work on feminine subjectivity in

in The subject of love
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In the spirit of the gift of love

feminist philosopher Edith Wyschogrod on self/other relations. In her groundbreaking book Saints and Postmodernism (1990), Wyschogrod proposed an ethics of intersubjectivity – her postmodern sainthood – wherein an excessive desire for the other is based on an excessive desire for what the other desires for herself or himself. What is at stake in Wyschogrod’s work, like that of Hélène Cixous, is a critique of social relations that are predicated on the negation or appropriation of difference, and it is this aspect of her work rather than her affirmation of excessive love

in The subject of love
Open Access (free)
In the beginning was song

, Music and Language (New York: Garland, 1987); Michael O’Dea, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Music, Illusion, and Desire (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995); and Thomas M. Kavanagh, Writing the Truth. Authority and Desire in Rousseau (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1987). 2 Rousseau’s enmity towards Rameau was not surprising. In 1745 Rousseau had revised Rameau and Voltaire’s opera Les Fêtes de Ramire, which became a success. Yet Rousseau did not receive credit for the work. Chap006.p65 116 11/09/03, 13:36

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Abandonment

Hearne’s loneness, drinking, and Existential freedom once the sense of God’s abandonment comes to the fore. Passion The first thing to note is the title. ‘Passion’ most obviously refers to Hearne’s romantic desires, but it also, given the religious context for much of what happens in the novel, refers to ‘passion’ as in ‘Christ’s passion’. The meaning of ‘passion’ in relation to Christ is ‘suffering’, so Moore neatly fuses the idea of Hearne as both romantically unfulfilled and as existing in a manner that parallels that of Jesus in his final days. To ask the reader to

in The Existential drinker
Love

the achievements of Paradise is the persuasive nature of its protagonist, Hannah Luckraft. She is fully aware of how she is perceived by others, and how her behaviour is selfish, harming others as much as herself. Her desire for a reciprocal, loving relationship is achingly present throughout, and while the reader may root for a happy ending in the conventional sense, there is the constant foreboding that something will go terribly wrong. This anxiety is communicated in part by Hannah’s own make-​up, because whenever things are going well she senses it is only

in The Existential drinker