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

By Elizabeth Chapman Hoult (auth.)

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

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Her work has provided me with a way of examining texts as an arena for oppression and dissent, of domination and survival that neither subscribes to a restrictive view of language as transparent and closed, nor leads to the nihilistic and cerebral game playing of some applications of deconstruction to literary theory outlined above. In her work, deconstruction does not lead to nothing (albeit a nothingness that does not really exist beyond “stark oppositions”53) but to a new reality in which what cannot currently be said within the logocentric discourse cannot only be uttered but also celebrated in a new linguistic reality.

Love overcomes fear in the moment of transformation, and when he gets back to the studio, his beloved statue has come alive. 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.

Similarly, even in the context of a deconstructive reading experiment, the fact that all these texts were written by men needs to at least be acknowledged. The females in these texts occupy a liminal state. They are, in Elisabeth Bronfen’s phrase, “metaphorically effaced”10 rather than literally dead. Ambivalent figures, they do not attract quite the same cultural associations as the dead female body (comprehensively analyzed by Bronfen). Rather, they invite a different kind of masculine attention— one that acknowledges risk and in which the resurrecting swagger of the selfappointed miracle worker is always accompanied by the terror of what he might awaken.

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