Download A Dialogue of voices : feminist literary theory and Bakhtin by Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich; Wussow, Helen; Hohne, Karen PDF

By Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich; Wussow, Helen; Hohne, Karen Ann; Bakhtin, M

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Alongside these seemingly indeterminate qualities, Cixous offers a very appealing, and in many respects very Bakhtinian, account of the promise such writing holds: Writing is precisely working (in) the in-between, inspecting the process of the same and of the other without which nothing can live, undoing the work of death— . . infinitely dynamized by an incessant process of exchange from one subject to another. (252) The feminine practice of writing will reveal writing's true nature: it is gendered, but nonetheless radically inclusive.

If the source of writing is the unconscious, as Cixous claims, if true expression lies exclusively within or upon or across or through the body —even the cosmic "body without end" —then the "locus for the other" remains obscure. In valuing the unconscious, that which is hidden and unspoken, Cixous admits the existence of a dark continent, in her words the "limitless country," where the other is ultimately an unnecessary, if not unwelcome, intruder. Cixous's professed alternative to the dialectic, to the phallocentric values of opposition and hierarchizing exchange, is scarcely better.

In fact, she physically materializes what she's thinking; she signifies it with her body" (251). Writing the body is a matter of calling forth the unconscious, that which has been kept hidden. The expansive (female) body is riddled with ever-multiplying desire; and when this immense source of libidinal, linguistic expression has been unleashed, its force (it comes as no surprise) is "explosive, utterly destructive, shattering" (256; emphasis in the original). In reclaiming the body through language, women's writing visits yet again the scene of a violent and shattering confrontation.

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