CIXOUS, IRIGARAY, KRISTEVA
THE JOUISSANCE OF FRENCH FEMINISM
By Kelly Ives
This book is a poetic study of three French feminists, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva and Hélène Cixous, the 'holy trinity' of French feminism. Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Kristeva have created some of the most inspiring, insightful and illuminating writing on contemporary feminism and philosophy.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Kelly Ives writes: 'I hope to convey some the inspiration and excitement that their work instils. These three feminists/ philosophers/ speakers/ poets are extraordinarily enriching. Their writings are inspiring, and are they not limited to having one or two things to say. Rather, they say a lot, about a lot. Sometimes they write things that are outrageous, at other times they are incredibly, searingly poignant.'
EXTRACT FROM THE INTRODUCTION
Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva all have different modes of writing. There are times when they are writing in the sober, tones of a cultural critic, philosopher or psychoanalyst. They have strident feminist voices (Cixous and Irigaray more than Kristeva). They are personal reminiscence modes. They have a relaxed, informal mode in interviews. And, most powerful of all, they have lyrical modes. Thus, Cixous, the most 'poetic' of the three, will break into a visionary, ultra-lyrical way of writing.
Luce Irigaray, too, changes, less frequently than Hélène Cixous, from a critical to a lyrical form. Thus, in a piece such as “When Our Lips Speak Together”, Irigaray will write poetic sentences such as 'Kiss me. Two lips kiss two lips, and openness is ours again.' This is the kind of phrase which never appears in most cultural theorists outside of quotation marks. One doesn't find Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Mikhail Bakhtin, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes or Jean-Paul Sartre writing 'kiss me' very often.
What marks Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva apart from many cultural theorists and philosophers, then, is this personal, confessional and poetic way of writing, where they directly address the reader as the other, the 'you' in an intimate relationship. Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, and Jakobson are rarely, if ever, this personal.
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Table of Contents
Abbreviations 8 Preface 15
PART ONE: FRENCH FEMINISM
1 Introductory Biographies 21 2 French Feminist Poetics: The Issues of Feminist
and Women’s Art 33 3 French Feminism, Sexuality, and Sexual Difference 53
PART TWO: CIXOUS, IRIGARAY, KRISTEVA
4 The Jouissance of Writing: Hélène Cixous 83 5 “Kiss My Lips”: Luce Irigaray’s Philosophy of Sexual
Difference 103 6 Love, Abjection, Melancholy, Art, Love:
Julia Kristeva’s Philosophy 121
Illustrations 156 Quotes 165 Notes 168 Bibliography 176