Men have committed the greatest crime against women. Insidiously, violently, they have led them to hate women, to be their own enemies, to mobilize their immense strength against themselves, to be the executants of their virile needs.
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APAHele¨ne Cixous Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=men-have-committed-greatest-crime-against-women-insidiously-violently-they-have-led-them-to-hate-women-to-be-their-own-enemies-to-mobilize-their-immense-strength-against-themselv
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All I know: I could only encounter you, my oasis, coming out of a desert. Deserted myself. This is all right. My futureless and solitary self. When suddenly I hear the voice of the springs-Right away you made me want to sing. To cry. Then to drink. But after the desert, the merest trickle of water sounds like a storm. And ever since, Promethea's every murmur shakes my life like an earthquake. I was asleep. I was not thirsty. It would have been possible for me not to hear the first three tears. Ever since I never sleep. I listen.
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If one proceeds philosophically before proceeding poetically, and this is central to the philosopher, pleasure is crushed, But if one begins by having pleasure, it is like knowing how to swim: one never forgets it [Clarice Lispector, The Stream of Life, trans Elizabeth Lowe & Earl Fitz, Foreword by Hele¨ne Cixous trans Verena Conley, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989].
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This is what's happening: together we are descending the stairs of the heart, which lead to the sources. (It is a secret staircase. I knew it existed. Which is why I avoided it. Because it leads to the other-life, deep, underground, the fluvial, the painful.) We are in the process of descending into the depths of the heart. To where bodies communicate with each other.
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What is the use of the colon? What is a colon? Generally it opens onto an explanation, but it is always done with the help of an interruption. It can be said that the colon is not the period, it is the period of the period, the canceling of the period. It is a moment mute and marked; it is the most delicate tattoo of the text. It is also in place of, instead of, everything that would be causal. For example, when we read: "It's simply that: secret." "Secret, " is a sentence, it is the shortest sentence perhaps. But it is a sentence in one word. It is a sentence that is secret and that at the same time says its name. One could invert and say: "Secret: it is simply that." This is secret, the secret is the secret of this, it is a word which makes infinite sense all by itself, it is a sentence which performs the secret itself [Clarice Lispector, The Stream of Life, trans Elizabeth Lowe and Earl Fitz, Foreword by Hele¨ne Cixous trans Verena Conley, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989]
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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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And why don't you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you haven't written. (And why I didn't write before the age of twenty-seven.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it's reserved for the great-that is for "great men"; and it's "silly." Besides, you've written a little, but in secret. And it wasn't good, because it was in secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn't 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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It is because of this sea between us. The earth has never, up to now, separated us. But, ever since yesterday, there has been something in this nonetheless real, perfectly Atlantic, salty, slightly rough sea that has cast a spell on me. And every time I think about Promethea, I see her crossing this great expanse by boat and soon, alas, a storm comes up, my memory clouds over, in a flash there are shipwrecks, I cannot even cry out, my mouth is full of saltwater sobs. I am flooded with vague, deceptive recollections, I am drowning in my imagination in tears borrowed from the most familiar tragedies, I wish I had never read certain books whose poison is working in me. Has this Friday, perhaps, thrown a spell on me? But spells only work if you catch them. I have caught the Tragic illness. If only Promethea would make me some tea I know I would find some relief. But that is exactly what is impossible. And so, today, I am sinning. I am sinking beneath reality. I am weighted down with literature. That is my fate. Yet I had the presence of mind to start this parenthesis, the only healthy moment in these damp, feverish hours. All this to try to come back to the surface of our book... Phone me quickly, Promethea, get me out of this parenthesis fast!)
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You make me thirsty, Promethea, my river, you make me eternally thirsty, my water. As if I had spent my life in an old house of dried mud, so dry myself that I could not even thirst, until yesterday. And suddenly yesterday, the dusty floor of my old house burst open and while I was still dozing away my parched existence, drop by drop I heard the music of coolness awaken the thirst under my dry soul. And leaning over the dark shaft of my life, I saw my childhood springs unearthed. Is that always how (by accident) we rediscover Magdalenian riches?
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Women must write through their bodies, they must invent the impregnable language that will wreck partitions, classes, and rhetorics, regulations and codes, they must submerge, cut through, get beyond the ultimate reverse-discourse, including the one that laughs at the very idea of pronouncing the word "silence"... In one another we will never be lacking.
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