Manhattan: Letters from Prehistory by Hélène Cixous, Beverly Bie Brahic

By Hélène Cixous, Beverly Bie Brahic

Big apple is the story of a tender French pupil who travels to the U.S. in 1965 on a Fulbright Fellowship to refer to the manuscripts of loved authors. In Yale University's Beinecke Library, tantalized through the conversational and epistolary brilliance of a fellow researcher, she is lured right into a picaresque and tragic experience. in the meantime, again in France, her youngsters and no-nonsense mom watch for her go back. a tender eu intellectual's first touch with the US and town of recent York are the history of this tale. The event of long island haunts this labyrinth of a ebook as, over a interval of thirty-five years, its narrator visits and revisits relevant Park and a half-buried squirrel, the Statue of Liberty and a by no means back to be stumbled on resort within the region of Morningside Heights: a trip into reminiscence during which every little thing isn't the same.

Traveling from library to library, France to the us, Shakespeare to Kafka to Joyce, long island deploys with gusto the entire ideas for which Cixous's fiction and essays are identified: speedy juxtapositions of time and position, narrative and outline, research and philosophical mirrored image. It investigates topics Cixous has spent her lifestyles probing: interpreting, writing, and the omnipotence-otherseductions of literature; a family's flight from NaziGermany and postcolonial Algeria; adolescence, motherhood, and, no longer least, the unusual event of falling in love with, as Jacques Derrida writes, a counterfeit genius.


"A luminous booklet. A poignant literary work." - Alessia Ricciardi, college of California, Berkeley "This wonderful booklet is especially an research of the facility of Literature, of the ways that fiction retains mystery what it sort of feels to show, lies and tells the reality while. Helene Cixous infuses this haunting tale of deception together with her designated poetic kind, incisive wit, and philosophical acumen." - Brigitte Weltman-Aron, college of Florida"

HELENE CIXOUS's 3 Steps at the Ladder to Writing and snort of the Medusa are seminal texts in postmodern cultural conception. Born in 1937 in Algeria, former Chair of the Centre de Recherches en tudes Feminines at Paris VIII college, Cixous lectures in France and in another country. Her writing is impressive for its crossing of obstacles among the genres and varieties of fiction, autobiography, and research.

BEVERLEY BIE BRAHIC lives in Paris. She is the translator of Helene Cixous's Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a tender Jewish Saint, Dream I let you know, Reveries of the Wild lady, and The Day I Wasn't There, and the writer of a quantity of poems, opposed to Gravity.

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In the NY hotel rm (they turn up again in Angst)—what good’s writing? ’’ Forgotten underlined three times, as if forgotten by three forgettings. To which add today the forgetting that followed upon these notes, interrupted for the time being by the finding of the ................. 16582$ $CH3 10-11-07 15:26:56 PS PAGE 35 post-it. Is this the fourth forgetting? How many forgettings does it take to forget, then to forget, then to forget about the forgetting? I remember the forgotten roses very well, backs straight him sprawled on the couch in room 91 them erect upright legs bunched together in the hotel vase saying we’ve been waiting for you red long-stemmed, showy, stout, vigorous roses, in the room I don’t see them as they are but for what they meant.

It was only many years later I noticed the Detail that gives us access to ‘‘The Metamorphosis’’ (‘‘Die Verwandlung’’) though it is perfectly obvious in the entryway where it vegetates and stinks, the eternal cadaver posted as a warning to the reader. But as it doesn’t call out or moan or squeak the avid visitor sweeps indifferently past the prophetic vignette and throws himself into the front room from which he doesn’t emerge alive. If only you’d read the warning Nothing wouldn’t have happened.

I wept. I should have taken out the lens. 27 the eye-patch ................. 16582$ $CH2 10-11-07 15:26:55 PS PAGE 27 * * * This whole story turns on an eye, now one of the eyes of one character, now one of the eyes of the other. This comment is totally extraneous to the story’s events. It belongs to the Tale. To the Tale, that is, version 2000. Before this date a thin sheet of soundproof glass slipped itself between the story’s events and the Tale. So long as I wore a contact lens (that is, one lens) I couldn’t tell.

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