Hélène Cixous


Hélène Cixous Quotes

  • ''“We should write as we dream; we should even try and write, we should all do it for ourselves, it’s very healthy, because it’s the only place where we never lie. At night we don’t lie. Now if we think that our whole lives are built on lying-they are strange buildings-we should try and write as our dreams teach us; shamelessly, fearlessly, and by facing what is inside very human being-sheer violence, disgust, terror, shit, invention, poetry. In our dreams we are criminals; we kill, and we kill with a lot of enjoyment. But we are also the happiest people on earth; we make love as we never make love in life.” ''
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  • ''“Censor the body and you censor breath and speech at the same time. Write yourself. Your body must be heard.”''
    Hélène Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa
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  • ''“We must kill the false woman who is preventing the live one from breathing.” ''
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  • ''“I, too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard-of songs. Time and again I, too, have felt so full of luminous torrents that I could burst-burst with forms much more beautiful than those which are put up in frames and sold for a fortune. And I, too, said nothing, showed nothing; I didnt open my mouth, I didnt repaint my half of the world. I was ashamed. I was afraid, and I swallowed my shame and my fear. I said to myself: You are mad! Whats the meaning of these waves, these floods, these outbursts? Where is the ebullient infinite woman who...hasnt been ashamed of her strength? Who, surprised and horrified by the fantastic tumult of her drives (for she was made to believe that a well-adjusted normal woman has a ...divine composure), hasnt accused herself of being a monster? Who, feeling a funny desire stirring inside her (to sing, to write, to dare to speak, in short, to bring out something new), hasnt thought that she was sick? Well, her shameful sickness is that she resists death, that she makes trouble.” ''
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  • ''“You only have to look at the Medusa straight on to see her. And shes not deadly. Shes beautiful and shes laughing.”''
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  • ''“There is no greater love than the love the wolf feels for the lamb-it-doesn’t-eat.” ''
    Hélène Cixous, Stigmata: Escaping Texts
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  • ''“The only book that is worth writing is the one we don’t have the courage or strength to write. The book that hurts us (we who are writing), that makes us tremble, redden, bleed” ''
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  • ''“And why dont you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you havent written. (And why I didnt write before the age of twenty-seven.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, its reserved for the great-that is for "great men"; and its "silly."

    Besides, youve written a little, but in secret. And it wasnt good, because it was in secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didnt go all the way, or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension a bit, just enough to take the edge off. And then as soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty-so as to be forgiven; or to forget, to bury it until the next time.”''
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  • ''“And why dont you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you havent written. (And why I didnt write before the age of twenty-seven.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, its reserved for the great-that is for "great men"; and its "silly."

    Besides, youve written a little, but in secret. And it wasnt good, because it was in secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didnt go all the way, or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension a bit, just enough to take the edge off. And then as soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty-so as to be forgiven; or to forget, to bury it until the next time.”''
    Hélène Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa
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  • ''“And so when you have lost everything, no more roads, no direction, no fixed signs, no ground, no thoughts able to resist other thoughts, when you are lost, beside yourself, and you continue getting lost, when you become the panicky movement of getting lost, then, that’s when, where you are unwoven weft, flesh that lets strangeness come through, defenseless being, without resistance, without batten, without skin, inundated with otherness, it’s in these breathless times that writings traverse you, songs of an unheard-of purity flow through you, addressed to no one, they well up, surge forth, from the throats of your unknown inhabitants, these are the cries that death and life hurl in their combat.” ''
    Hélène Cixous, Coming to Writing and Other Essays
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