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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.


How do you create a fictional story out of an historical period? What do you need to know about the people, the places, the events? What’s the better inspiration: historical scholarship or popular knowledge? A writer’s guide to Ancient Rome serves as inspiration and a guide to the Roman population, economy, laws, leisure, and religion for the author, student, general reader seeking an introduction to what made the Romans tick. The Guide considers trends and themes from roughly 200 BCE to 200 CE with the occasional foray into the antecedents and legacy on either side of the period. Each chapter explicates its main themes with examples from the original sources. Throughout are suggestions for resources to mine for the subject at hand and particular bits affected by scholarly debate and changing interpretation based on new discoveries or reinterpretation of written and material remains. It’s up to you whether or not you will produce a work of careful verisimilitude or anachronistic silliness (or one of the flavours in between). That’s your call as creator. This little guide is but a brief survey of a vast quantity of resources, sources, and scholarship on the Classical world that is available for reflection, evaluation, interpretation, and creativity. It is intended to open doors for further reading and consideration as you construct your own Roman world – it’s a welcome mat inviting you in to listen to the stories of the Romans and to contribute tales of your own.

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The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

In this bold and exhilarating mix of memoir and writing guide, Melissa Febos tackles the emotional, psychological, and physical work of writing intimately while offering an utterly fresh examination of the storyteller’s life and the challenges it presents. How do we write about the relationships that have formed us? How do we describe our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean to have your writing, or living, dismissed as “navel-gazing”—or else hailed as “so brave, so raw”? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong? Drawing on her journey from aspiring writer to acclaimed author and writing professor—via addiction and recovery, sex work and academia—Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence. Candid and inspiring, Body Work will empower readers and writers alike, offering ideas—and occasional notes of caution—to anyone who has ever hoped to see their true self reflecting back from the open page.

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Through everything
Nicholas Royle

chief engineer. The book engineers itself. If the engine cuts out, it’s a question of being patient. Patience, she suggests, is something ‘with or despite desire’, ‘something continually strange’. 3 You’re aboard, perhaps uncertainly adrift, but things start up again. ✂ Cixous works a sort of magical découpage on creative and critical writing, over all their surfaces – and in the depths. ✂ There are supposedly clear and secure distinctions between ‘critical writing’ and ‘creative writing’. Each apparently has its own name, its own

in Hélène Cixous
The academy and the canon
Damian Walford Davies

, Scott, Hogg and Burns, which are studied in less detail. Creative writing and the counterfactual canon But – to ask a slightly different question – will something like this model come to pass, since it relates to future facts rather than an alternative contemporary history? This is unlikely. Tempting though it may be to invoke the agency of fashion in support of that estimate, or the tendency of one age to question the assumptions of the preceding one, it is not necessary to be so vague. A future idea of Romanticism is much more likely, in the real world, to follow

in Counterfactual Romanticism
Robinson as professor and defender of ‘America’s best idea’
Steve Gronert Ellerhoff
Kathryn E. Engebretson

of the Workshop from 1987 until his death in 2005. In After the Program Era (2017), Marija Reiff picks up on Robinson's praise and emulation of the Protestant beginnings of American universities in her pedagogical approach, arguing her ‘career reflects how the ethos of nineteenth-century liberal Protestant education informs the creative writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries’ (17). 3 Robinson's standing as the F. Wendell Miller Professor of Creative Writing would have made her a natural successor to

in Marilynne Robinson
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Dreamer, realist, analyst, writing
Nicholas Royle

, but also in terms of how her critical work (which resides in her so-called fictional writings as well as in her essays) affects our understanding of ‘fiction’, ‘the novel’, ‘poetry’, ‘literature’, ‘creative writing’, ‘criticism’, ‘narrative theory’, ‘autobiography’, ‘life writing’ and so on. Cixous is not so much ‘a writer’s writer’, as a poetic thinker who compels us to develop new ways of approaching both creative and critical writing, both literature and literary criticism and theory. Historians, critics and theorists alike have tended to overlook

in Hélène Cixous
An ecocritical reading
William Welstead

. Their voices all found their way into the poem, expressing the many tensions between the older and contemporary ways of life, and our differing approaches to what we mean by ‘nature’. (Porteous 2014: 10–11) In this respect, Porteous is following a similar formula to Alice Oswald in her long poem ‘Dart’, although it is very different in tone and effect (Oswald 2002). Interpretation is a broad practice that embodies, creative writing and art, constructing ideas of place, explaining the natural environment and promoting a corporate identity. While projects like that on

in Extending ecocriticism
Heather Walton

debates concerning appropriate relations between literature and theology are not a primary concern. There are many reasons why this is so. Chief among these is the fact that literature written by women is so rich in its references to the divine. Early works of feminist criticism celebrated the discovery of this remarkable spiritual legacy and demonstrated how the spiritual radicalism of women’s creative writing posed a direct challenge to the conventions of domestic piety usually deemed appropriate to women. For this reason women authors often found it necessary to

in Literature, theology and feminism
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Shifting racial and gender identities in Caucasia and Middlesex
Sinéad Moynihan

: [the] adolescent girl’s body becomes a perfect stage on which to illustrate the tenuousness of both whiteness and blackness because so much of the girl’s identity is intricately linked to her physical body, and it is on the physical body that we expect racial identity to make itself visible. 2 Crucially, in both novels, the protagonists also engage, with varying degrees of commitment and success, in the act of creative writing, which serves to reflect back inevitably upon the authorship of the novels themselves. If the novel of adolescence

in Passing into the present