Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint
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Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint by Helene Cixous
Book DescriptionWho can say "I am Jewish?" What does "Jew" mean? What especially does it mean for Jacques Derrida, founder of deconstruction, scoffer at boundaries and fixed identities, explorer of the indeterminate and undecidable? In Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint, French feminist philosopher H l ne Cixous follows the intertwined threads of Jewishness and non-Jewishness that play through the life and works of one of the greatest living philosophers. Cixous is a lifelong friend of Derrida. They both grew up as French Jews in Algeria and share a "belonging constituted of exclusion and nonbelonging"-not Algerian, rejected by France, their Jewishness concealed or acculturated. In Derrida's family "one never said 'circumcision'but 'baptism,'not 'Bar Mitzvah'but 'communion.'" Judaism cloaked in Catholicism is one example of the undecidability of identity that influenced the thinker whom Cixous calls a "Jewish Saint." An intellectual contemporary of Derrida, Cixous's ideas on writing have an affinity with his philosophy of deconstruction, which sought to overturn binary oppositions-such as man/woman, or Jew/non-Jew-and blur boundaries of exclusion inherent in Western thought. In portraying Derrida, Cixous uses metonymy, alliteration, rhyme, neologisms, and puns to keep the text in constant motion, freeing language from any rigidity of meaning. In this way she writes a portrait of "Derrida in flight," slipping from one appearance to the next, unable to be fixed in one spot, yet encompassing each point he passes. From the circumcision act to family relationships, through Derrida's works to those of Celan, Rousseau, and Beaumarchais, Cixous effortlessly merges biography and textual commentary in this playful portrait of the man, his works, and being (or not being) Jewish.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231128254
(216mm x 200mm x 9mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 6-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Helene Cixous
Abstracts and Brief Chronicles of the Time, Hardback (February 2016)
Helene Cixous has dreamed for years of "The Book-I-Don't-Write," but each time she approaches it, it withdraws. The-Book-I-Don't-Write is always just out of reach.
Death Shall be Dethroned, Hardback (February 2016)
Death Shall Be Dethroned is the shadow book of Los, a Chapter, Helene Cixous tells us. It came along after Los, but it was always there "hidden" in her notebooks, in the Beethoven notebook, say, the one Jacques Derrida gave her. But when it tapped at the window, she ignored it until the day she had to let it in.
Tombe, Hardback (November 2014)» View all books by Helene Cixous
Masterfully translated by Laurent Milesi, this book preserves the sonic complexities and intricate wordplay at the core of author's writing, and reveals the struggles, ideas, and intents at the center of her work.
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Author Biography - Helene Cixous
H l ne Cixous is one of today's best-known feminist theorists and author of Coming to Writing and Other Essays, The Newly Born Woman, and Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing (Columbia), as well as fiction and plays. Beverley Bie Brahic is a translator and poet living in Paris.
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