Philosophy Social Aspects

Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience by Elizabeth Chapman Hoult (auth.)

By Elizabeth Chapman Hoult (auth.)

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Additional info for Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience and Hélène Cixous

Example text

It is a daimonic force and is accompanied by dread as well as release. In order for this to happen, the writer needs to accept a certain passivity and to surrender to being written through. Therein lies the paradoxical opportunity presented by l’ écriture féminine; one must be sufficiently active to resist the mechanisms of “the wall,” but, once past it, one must accept complete passivity to writing itself. A theoretical commitment to Cixous’s notion of transformational writing runs throughout this book.

33 This being is flexible and resilient, not brittle and breakable. The awakening of the statue mirrors Pygmalion’s earlier awakening due to her possession of him. The moment of transformation is one of surrender for both of them. For the sculptor, this is a moment of surrender to the power of love. As an allegorical account of teaching and learning, this is a far more hopeful way of understanding transformation and resilience than that offered by the direct translation of Ovid’s text. Here the resilient learner is one who understands, before she is conscious of it, the need to find a life, to take shape, and to transform into being.

Pygmalion ● 29 In her later work The School of Roots Cixous returns to Metamorphoses to consider more widely Ovid’s concern with transformation. She says of it, There are metamorphoses of all kinds and genders here. 17 She makes the direct link between metamorphosis and writing. Stoichita’s analysis of the impact of Ovid’s text on the history of Western art emphasizes the way that linguistic transformation generates all the other levels of transformation in the poem from ivory to flesh, from sacrifice to divine reward, and from art to actuality.

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