Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ecriture Feminine and the Petit Mort of Writing


Where one of my classmates was talking about dying little deaths, small deaths along the way of writing, this made me think of the petit mort, which is French for orgasm. And as I read Cixous and think about her ecstasy in writing, talking about the flesh at work in a labor of love, I think more and more about the petit mort as a form of women's writing . This is all over Cixous. Her writing is full of ecstatic phrases about what it is to write. She does not fear the death of the author, either actual or metaphorical. Nor does writing, for Cixous, promise immortality. It is an in the moment activity. In “The Author in Truth,” Cixous writes about “striking out for the unknown, to make our way in the dark. To see the world with the fingers: isn't this the act of writing par excellence? ” In her manifesto “Coming to Writing,” there are extended passages that are about losing yourself in mad love (amour fou, as Andre Breton wrote of), to writing, to a feminine writing. This is not a nihilistic death, as might be seen in Foucault or Barthes, but a joyous celebration of what it is to write. “The text, already the lover who savors the wait and the promise,” she explains in “The Author in Truth .”

“Text: not a detour, but the flesh at work in a labor of love” . As if she were taking the death of the author literally, then, she says “in the beginning, there can be only dying, the abyss, the first laugh. ” In Cixous' definition of the text, I do not feel the need to repudiate stupid Derrida. I can accept that there is nothing outside of this text, this ecriture feminine in which all things live as long as they live. It is not a hedge against death . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nor
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a headlong dive into death.
. . . . . . . . . .It is not about immortality and “what survives.”
. . . . . . . . Writing is its own joy, . . . . . . . its own reward . . . . .its own pleasure.
. . . . . . . It is a petit mort that is meant to be shared.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . It is a revolution in language that is meant to liberate.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It is a private moment, expressivist and confessional.
. . . . . . . It . . . . . . . . . is . . . . . . . . everything.

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