I enter the Box
Urgent. Endurance 1
The Nameless Book
I bring back Le Prénom de Dieu
"Few writers today can express the literary in the way Cixous can."
Times Literary Supplement
"Cixous recalls anew many of the figures who have peopled her universe over the years: Joyce, Kafka, Stendhal, Derrida, her cats, her mother, her children. They return as new, doubles of their earlier selves. With characteristic humour, this 'Double Oblivion' explores how forgetting keeps the past not just alive but young."
Mairéad Hanrahan, University College London
"Who tells the story: the narrator, distracted discoverer of her own first “larval” book and carer for a mother doughtily exploring the furthest reaches of her years? Or is it the narrator's companions and inner inhabitants? In addition to the Ourang-Outang, she makes room for Heathcliff, Stendhal, most especially her twin Jacques Derrida, not forgetting Rimbaud, Nefertiti, Proust and Poe. Or does the story emanate from the strange character of the Box? Where exactly is oblivion, reading’s double? Where does memory lodge? In what cupboards, words and elliptical lakes? Nothing escapes Cixous in her tender, unflinching attention to the duels with oblivion we all face.'
Sarah Wood, University of Kent
- Cixous is generally regarded as one of the leading, if not the leading French feminist author writing today.
- This book tells the story of how the author re-discovers a box from the past, containing a book manuscript from over fifty years ago. This leads to reflections on literary creativity, memory, identity and dreams.
- The title refers to Baudelaire’s translation of a text by Edgar Allen Poe set in Paris in which the perpetrator of two murders is revealed to be an escaped orangutan, or ‘ourang-outang’, who has no motive for the crimes. This raises questions about how we contain threats, with the orangutan revealing our primal side.
- This book will be read by followers of Cixous, by scholars working in the areas of philosophy, gender studies and literary criticism, and by interested general readers.