Who writes «the-book-that-I-do-not-write» ? Appellate capacity in Cixous' early and late works

Cathérine Mavrikakis


Reading three recent texts of Cixous Les Rêveries de la femme sauvage, Tours promises et Le jour où je n’étais pas là, this article wants to explore the question of pairing or doubling (the mother, brother, sister, daughter, the Twin Towers, the beginnings, the book). The spectrality of the self – its doubling, its substitution – will be analysed in order to stress the relationships between the book’s idea and its writing, with the book itself always replacing the book that has not been written. In these conditions, certain questions stand out: where does the book begin or end? When does the writing process start? In its materiality or before its realisation ? The book seems to be constituted by the future that it announces and postpones at the same time. In fact, the future is a promise never fulfilled and that can be understood only in the context of a prophecy that we can interpret or decipher in the book only after its realisation. Cixous’s writings bear on prehistorical or postapocalyptic history, and are concerned with the times of beginnings and disapperances. Thinking the end of the book or of life itself means thinking about origins. This article strives to think the essence of the book in its link to Judaism.


book; Judaism; Origins; Creative writing; Prophecy

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/fem.2006.7.09

Copyright (c) 2006 Cathérine Mavrikakis

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