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Etty Hillesum: "Écriture féminine?"

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Chapter Summary

Hélène Cixous, famous for her alternative literary theories, distinguishes two economies (masculine and feminine), two ways of living, greedily or generously, which can be practiced by any human being and which influence the way one reads and writes. This chapter uses the critical works of Hélène Cixous to find the connection between the 'new language' of which Etty Hillesum wrote and the response to her diaries and letters. Many people were clearly conscious of the originality of her writing. The frequent response of 'being deeply touched' by Hillesum's work is striking. The question of 'how does the text affect me?' is both the foundation and the core of Cixous' approach to literature. Modern literary theory holds different notions. In this type of reader-response theory, the emphasis is no longer on the text as such; instead, attention is turned to the process that takes place between the reader and the text.

Keywords: Etty Hillesum; feminine; Hélène Cixous; masculine; modern literary theory



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