Hélène Cixous

Dreamer, realist, analyst, writing

By Nicholas Royle

Hélène Cixous


  • eBook
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4066-1
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: July 2020
  • BIC Category: Literature, PHILOSOPHY / Individual Philosophers, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Humanities / Philosophy, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory, Literature & literary studies / General


This book provides a wide-ranging and up-to-date critical introduction to the writings of Hélène Cixous (1937-), focusing on key motifs, such as dreams, the supernatural, literature, psychoanalysis, creative writing, realism, sexual differences, laughter, secrets, the 'Mother unconscious', drawing, painting, life writing, telephones, non-human animals, telepathy and the 'art of cutting'. There are close readings of Shakespeare, Brontë, Shelley, Poe, Carroll, Freud, Woolf, Joyce, Beckett and Derrida, 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 useful 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, trauma studies, feminism, queer theory, ecology, drawing and painting.


'Royle considers Cixous's work in relation to that of authors that she has herself read and analyzed, in particular Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Derrida. The author states that his study is intended to be accessible for readers with little background in feminist literary theory, deconstruction, or psychoanalysis, and he delivers on that promise. This study is an exercise in creative reading, an approach Royle defines in the introduction for those unfamiliar with it. The book is compelling and will interest readers of Cixous in any language.'
Reprinted with permission from Choice Reviews. All rights reserved. Copyright by the American Library Association.


1 Introduction: dreamer, realist, analyst, writing
2 Cixous cuts: through everything
3 Advertisement: the joys of literature and the return of the dead
4 Cixous cuts: take time
5 Dream in literature
6 Cixous cuts: from the axe to giving birth
7 Away
8 Cixous cuts: the veil in me
9 Portmanteau
10 Cixous cuts: Lewis Carroll
11 To awake, Shakespeare of the Night
12 Dream treatment: on sitting down to read a letter from Freud
13 Side thinking
14 All wards
15 Four words for Cixous
16 The one time Hélène Cixous entered my garden

Index of works by Cixous
General index


Nicholas Royle is Professor of English at the University of Sussex

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