Dream I Tell You

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Columbia University Press, 2006 - Fiction - 143 pages
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"I used to feel guilty at night. I live in, I always used to live in two countries, the diurnal one and the continuous very tempestuous nocturnal one.... What a delight to head off with high hopes to night's court, without any knowledge of what may happen! Where shall I be taken tonight! Into which country? Into which country of countries?"--H l ne Cixous, from Dream I Tell You

For years, H l ne Cixous has been writing down fragments of her dreams immediately after awaking. In Dream I Tell You, she collects fifty from the past ten years. Cixous's accounts of her dreamscapes resist standard psychoanalytic interpretations and reflect her lyrical, affecting, and deeply personal style. The dreams, reproduced in what Cixous calls both their "brute and innocent state," are infused with Cixous's humor, wit, and sense of playfulness.

Dreams have always been a crucial part of Cixous's writing. They are her archives and it is with them that she writes. Without dreaming, Cixous writes, "I would crumble to dust." As in many of her other texts, Cixous's mother, father, daughter, and friends populate this work, which offers artistic and provocative meditations on the themes of family, death, and resurrection. Scenes of a daily life-getting a haircut, caring for her child, preparing for work-become beautifully and evocatively skewed in Cixous's dreams. She also writes of dreams, both amusing and unsettling, in which she spends an evening with Martin Heidegger, has her lunch quietly interrupted by a young lion, flees the Nazis, and tours Auschwitz.

The "you" of the title is fellow philosopher and friend Jacques Derrida, to whom these texts are addressed. The book reflects on many of the subjects the two grappled with in their work and in conversation: the deconstruction of psychoanalysis, literary production, subjectivity, sexual difference, and the question of friendship.
 

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Dream I tell you

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Cixous, a leading French writer and literary theorist (literature, Univ. of Paris 8;The Newly Born Woman ), often draws on her dreams in her fiction. Here she presents 50 of these dreams, which she ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
12
Section 3
15
Section 4
21
Section 5
24
Section 6
37
Section 7
39
Section 8
41
Section 18
84
Section 19
88
Section 20
90
Section 21
96
Section 22
98
Section 23
100
Section 24
116
Section 25
118

Section 9
47
Section 10
49
Section 11
54
Section 12
58
Section 13
59
Section 14
66
Section 15
77
Section 16
79
Section 17
82
Section 26
123
Section 27
125
Section 28
128
Section 29
133
Section 30
135
Section 31
141
Section 32
143
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About the author (2006)

H l ne Cixous is professor of literature at the Universit de Paris VIII. She is the author of Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing (both published by Columbia University Press), and other works of fiction, essays, and plays. Beverley Bie Brahic is a translator and poet living in Paris. She is the translator of Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint.

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