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Hélène Cixous Between Oblivion and Memory
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Ethics.
2015 (English)In: Hélène Cixous Between Oblivion and Memory, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the complex, paradoxical and tortuous relationship between oblivion and memory in Hélène Cixous’ autobiographical narrative ‘Stigmata, or Job the Dog.’ As I show, Cixous’ primal encounter with the dog Fips produces a stigma that ruptures the barrier between the human and the animal; its dehiscence reveals a profound human animality generated by shared suffering. Cixous’ post-anthropocentric reflections are pivotal to rethinking ontological difference between animals and humans based on shared suffering, finitude, and compassion that ethically raises the stakes of the question of the animal and destabilizes established notions of what is intrinsically human. In fact, Cixous’ in her text performs a kind of creaturely poetics. She also erase the border between past and present. ‘Stigmata’ above all bring to life all the beloved dead through the character of the dog – who is really one of these dead too. Writing takes place somewhere between life and death, past and present, suffering and compassion; it takes place ‘between the infiniteness of oblivion and the infiniteness of memory.’

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Cixous; Memory; Oblivion; Animal; Human; Suffering; Compassion
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Ethics; Aesthetics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-283041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-283041DiVA: diva2:918078
LITCRI '15 / IV. Literary Criticism Conference, November 12-14, 2015 in Istanbul.
Ethics and the Politics of Writing: Membership, Testimony and Representation
Swedish Research Council, 2014-968
Available from: 2016-04-09 Created: 2016-04-09 Last updated: 2016-04-09

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