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'Job the Dog': Hélène Cixous on Wounds, Scars and the Biblical Text

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image of Biblical Interpretation

Hélène Cixous' engagement with biblical texts is a significant but neglected aspect of her work. In this essay, the biblical allusions in several of her works are traced, particularly centring around the theme of the dog and the bite or wound. The Bible represents for Cixous both an example of the unbounded writing she sees as feminine, and a text that is confined by masculine authority and taboo. These two aspects come together in her engagement with the writings of Clarice Lispector whose grammatically paradoxical phrase in Portuguese eles a biblia—'those he-bible', as translations inadequately represent it—embodies that tension. The tension between these styles of writing in the Bible opens up as a wound in the text which allows a penetration below the surface. The power of the Bible is in the way that this opening lets the reader see 'the meat we are' in an encounter with the 'root' of being.

Affiliations: 1: University of Leeds


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