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The Book of Promethea PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
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The Book of Promethea

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The Book of Promethea PDF, ePub eBook In writing Le Livre de Promethea Hélène Cixous set for herself the task of bridging the immeasurable distance between love and language. She describes a love between two women in its totality, experienced as both a physical presence, and a sense of infinity. The result is a stunning example of Pecriture feminine that won praise when published in France in 1983. Its transla In writing Le Livre de Promethea Hélène Cixous set for herself the task of bridging the immeasurable distance between love and language. She describes a love between two women in its totality, experienced as both a physical presence, and a sense of infinity. The result is a stunning example of Pecriture feminine that won praise when published in France in 1983. Its translation into English by Betsy Wing will extend the influence of a writer already famous for her novels and contributions to feminist theory. In her introduction Betsy Wing notes the contemporary emphasis on "fictions of presence." Cixous, in The Book of Promethea, works to "repair the separation between fiction and presence, trying to chronicle a very-present love without destroying it in the writing."

30 review for The Book of Promethea

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    No, we do not speak at all the same languages. Things she lets bubble up in a shower of sparks, I would like to collect and bind. She burns and I want to write out the fire! This 200 page prose poem again allows fiction, philosophy and memoir to blend in an aching harmony. Often maddening, this is a departure for Cixous. Usually her sensuality maintains a literary edge, not here, this is tactile and lustful. This is a dreamish account of affair between two women with images from the caves at Las No, we do not speak at all the same languages. Things she lets bubble up in a shower of sparks, I would like to collect and bind. She burns and I want to write out the fire! This 200 page prose poem again allows fiction, philosophy and memoir to blend in an aching harmony. Often maddening, this is a departure for Cixous. Usually her sensuality maintains a literary edge, not here, this is tactile and lustful. This is a dreamish account of affair between two women with images from the caves at Lascaux to a refugee camp in Lebanon. It is often was captivating, at times frustrating. We should heed the advice offered: Because Promethea asks me for a bowl of words before she goes to sleep.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Seeing all these 5-stars for a Cixous book makes me so happy... and yet sad that I can't do the same. But I have to be honest here. This was not up to par with the rest of her books that I've read. Like her other novels, this is a blend of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, myth, and literature. But here Cixous tackles the topic of love, the problem of loving and being loved, and it's probably the most purely personal book I've read by her. Thus a lot less of the literature than usual. She transcribes Seeing all these 5-stars for a Cixous book makes me so happy... and yet sad that I can't do the same. But I have to be honest here. This was not up to par with the rest of her books that I've read. Like her other novels, this is a blend of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, myth, and literature. But here Cixous tackles the topic of love, the problem of loving and being loved, and it's probably the most purely personal book I've read by her. Thus a lot less of the literature than usual. She transcribes the experience of her relationship with Promethea into her notebooks, and that's sort of how it feels to read it... like reading someone's unedited journal. And along with that journal-esque style come the high points: soaring prose as good as anything I've read by her. Often passages that reach their height in a breathless obsessive energy of rhythmic release.As far as war is concerned I am truly a woman: I do not want to win, if I were victorious I would be the one defeated, I only want to make my desire to encircle you triumph, my desire to fly over you, to flood you, to observe you from way up high and then through a microscope, I want to know you by means of every science and every art, but I want you to keep yourself intact, you my still-brutal and imposing civilization, I want you purely Infidel if my origins are in the Faith. If I am a Jew, be an Arab and let me love you, let us love each other with our two different innocencesUnfortunately, the passages that don't reach such heights often fall to cliche. The impossible of this book is to set down Promethea as she is, but Cixous knows as well as us that this act of writing changes what's written. And that the thing she wants most to capture is the uncapturable quality in her lover that does not translate to literature. It fascinates because it is impossible. She even admits this in the early pages of the book, which I enjoyed more as it was more about the writing process and the ideas behind the book. But if the goal was to capture the impossibility of the task, she was able to at least illustrate it in the rest of her experiment-book. When it doesn't work, it falls back down to earth in cliche after cliche: Under my very nose it is all so beautiful. It makes me want to sing. With words? Yes. Sometimes I think a moment is so beautiful. I want to toss it handfuls of delicious words so gluttony will keep it there.Does it help that this was in the context of a turtle POV? Not completely. Context matters to a degree and can rescue cliches from their tired moorings, as the translator tries to convince us in the introduction. But only to a degree. And maybe it's the translation's fault, because I found the cliches insurmountable no matter how many contextual leaps were made. Mostly, it's because the book is completely in the deep end of emotions. There is no specific reality for the reader to grab onto. The emotion cannot attach itself to anything concrete, so I was left aswim in a sea of generalities and vagueness. I think Cixous can and has done much better in her other books, although glimpses of her genius show through in this book as well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nate D

    This is the sort of writing that exists in the breathless instant of creation. The thrumming energy of words themselves as they struggle construct the shifting phantom architectures of meaning. And so it is, Cixous herself admits to disallowing herself the luxury of revisiting and editing the material, privileging immediacy, that thrumming energy, over refinement, staid literary construction. Though she has doubts, fears the rawness, the exposure, even as she cultivates it. Though there may be n This is the sort of writing that exists in the breathless instant of creation. The thrumming energy of words themselves as they struggle construct the shifting phantom architectures of meaning. And so it is, Cixous herself admits to disallowing herself the luxury of revisiting and editing the material, privileging immediacy, that thrumming energy, over refinement, staid literary construction. Though she has doubts, fears the rawness, the exposure, even as she cultivates it. Though there may be no other way. These are ephemeral words trapped in place in the act of holding a seance with ones own interior spaces. Which would seem to suit Cixous subjects, those of passion, of love. In particular, the violence of emotion as something essential to the experience of true full feeling. And so she renders her sensations in the instant of felt experience, shaping raw emotion into a shifting exploratory theoretics that aim continually build and rewrite themselves as she grapples with them. Given the force of thought here, and with the sheer raw beauty of Cixious' language, it's hard to admit reservation, but I cannot do otherwise: I just think this sort of immediate text may function best in shorter bursts. Here, in page after page, she pours out words in configurations that attempt to map similar ideas on the mutual violence of passion again and again. The words are a discovery process, watching them in a rare observation of the point of self-understanding, but the only person for which they can have the full meaning of experience is Cixous herself. As an outside observer my mind wanders, I compare my own experiences, I drift along parallel tracks into other understandings that only exist somewhere in my own shadowy spaces. Which is not without value, of course.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    What a restless book! I read this over the course of 7 whole days, which is so long, and so this is what the experience was like: 1. The very first page, I thought: ooh, I love this already & I am going to love this more when I read it: I am a little afraid for this book. Because it is a book of love. It is a burning bush. Best to plunge in. Once in the fire one is bathed in sweetness. Honestly: here I am, in it. 2. Pages ~5-40-60, I thought: I like this introduction, hm, this introduction is What a restless book! I read this over the course of 7 whole days, which is so long, and so this is what the experience was like: 1. The very first page, I thought: ooh, I love this already & I am going to love this more when I read it: I am a little afraid for this book. Because it is a book of love. It is a burning bush. Best to plunge in. Once in the fire one is bathed in sweetness. Honestly: here I am, in it. 2. Pages ~5-40-60, I thought: I like this introduction, hm, this introduction is quite long [flips ahead to scan for the next "chapter" only to find there is no next chapter, then thinks, oh yeah, remember you've read Hélène Cixous before. This is probably going to be one massive intense unapologetic streaming prose text that will make you feel like you are both swimming and drowning. Oh, boy. But oh, wait, this is going by smoothly so far. I might finish this tomorrow.] 3. [I do not finish it "tomorrow."] 4. Pages ~60-180, I thought: oh my god, I think I am going to give up on this book. The text is so frustrating. Who can possibly read through all of this? It feels like reading a dream. I don't know if I will even be able to recall anything afterward so it will be as good as not reading it at all. Maybe I can stop now and just pretend I've finished this book, but ugh, I can't, I can't seem to stop reading it, and I don't understand what's moving me forward, but how funny, this has never happened to me before, and I feel almost proud of myself for not giving up, so ok, Must Force Myself to Read This, and ooh: it is finally acknowledged the question of whether Promethea is a mare or a woman, and ooh: underline this, it seems to be the only, the most erotic paragraph of the book as if she was saving it for now. 5. Interlude thoughts: I am so glad to be reading this book after Promethea the comic series and after Roland Barthes's A Lover's Discourse. These books all go together, especially the difference in style and approach to love by a man and a woman, like some paragraphs correspond to each other. Very nice. 6. Interlude thoughts: This feels like a two-star book. Is it the fault of Goodreads or my own that I think about giving stars to books. Maybe I should delete all the stars all together. This book is rather short, so why does it feel so long. Because time is imaginary, that's why. I am in another dimension in this text. 7. Final pages 210-211: This is a five-star book. I love it, I love it, but I can't stand reading it at the same time. I like that, I think... Oh, the song of consolations! Oh, H and I and Promethea: Promethea: ♥

  5. 5 out of 5

    anne

    it's tall and skinny and i just read a line at the beginning where she suggest i lick her shoulder to taste the atlantic ocean. goodness.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Red

    theory syncing up w/ life. or at least mine. books are where tattoos come from.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    “This is a book of raw flesh.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    spoon

    made me feel really intense about codependency and the gay tendency to ~ merge ~ together but also was so beautifully written & helped me realize, in my own writing, my tendency to ignore the fact that i am so deeply, irrevocably loved. anyways, i didn't get to finish this because i had to return it to the library. i would recommend it to anyone who has been reading a lot of dry-mouth sleepy historical narratives or legal documents and wants to taste a new way of languaging that encompasses made me feel really intense about codependency and the gay tendency to ~ merge ~ together but also was so beautifully written & helped me realize, in my own writing, my tendency to ignore the fact that i am so deeply, irrevocably loved. anyways, i didn't get to finish this because i had to return it to the library. i would recommend it to anyone who has been reading a lot of dry-mouth sleepy historical narratives or legal documents and wants to taste a new way of languaging that encompasses the stark reality of miracle and the oftentimes excruciating result of love-and-loss-and-love.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Derek Brown

    “If I am a Jew, be an Arab and let me love you.” I’m not sure how to review this book. It’s literature, it’s affecting, it’s sad, I have no idea what happened. I am happy that I read this, and will be happy to not read another Cixous for a while.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emma Nelson

    A beautiful read; heady, adventurous and uplifting. One can't help but to fall into the cadence of the writing, to be lost in the rhythm. Whilst this is an undeniably beautiful read you definitely need to be in the right kind of headspace to enjoy it. I kept wishing I was proficient at French when reading the text as I think it must be doubly beautiful in it's original form; such writing inevitably loses something of itself in translation. I really love this book and can't wait to get my teeth i A beautiful read; heady, adventurous and uplifting. One can't help but to fall into the cadence of the writing, to be lost in the rhythm. Whilst this is an undeniably beautiful read you definitely need to be in the right kind of headspace to enjoy it. I kept wishing I was proficient at French when reading the text as I think it must be doubly beautiful in it's original form; such writing inevitably loses something of itself in translation. I really love this book and can't wait to get my teeth into more of Cixous' work. Due to my busy schedule and generally overcommitted life I was only able to read this in fits and starts, hence why it took me a month. However, with a free couple of hours and the ability to disconnect from my worries and commitments I could easily have devoured this in one sitting. I'd call it an indulgent and decadent read - but it's far too genuine.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Wing

    Helene Cixous is a huge inspiration for my own writing. She pens what I like to call "poetic prose." Her language is so rich, so heady with beauty, that I have to move slowly through the pages. I have read "The Book of Promethea" multiple times, each reading bringing new meanings and nuances. It is a love story, but don't go looking for plot or easy romance. This is all about swimming in words, letting the music of language wash over you. Be prepared to enter a new world of writing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Grega

    I discovered this book in college and was fascinated. I bought it a few years ago and continue to page through it periodically. I will never be done reading this book. I am enamored. I am mystified by the depth of its intimacy. It is not merely telling a story, it is the story it breathes, writhing in the juices of its own life. Allowing us to bear witness, to feel that breath on our cheek.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Completely changed how I think about love, relationships and human connection. Cixous observes intimacy in ways I hadn't considered before reading this non-linear, "going-in-every-direction-all-at-once," kind of narrative that makes you reconsider the impacts of love and intimacy on how we approach even the most mundane tasks.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eireann

    A very long short book, difficult in some good ways but mostly bad ways...four stars because it is still Cixous...if I hadnt read much of her other work I would probably have more fondness for it...this is not top shelf Cixous, though there are still many moments of marvelousness and brilliance.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    A poetic love letter to a ficticious woman, an example of ecrituire feminine, and the 3rd-weirdest text to be adapted into an Alan Moore comic. 7/10

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nat Smith

    Ruined me for reading books without this deeply intelligent, particularly feminist, discursive, non-linear language. Cixous is brilliant. Thank you, Feminist Sexualities Professor.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bei

    Reading this book was like looking into the starry night. Her language sparkles, gems everywhere. A book that would whistle down the stars and send them dancing around you all night long.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennpants

    Beautiful, beautiful book about love. I might actually rate this up there with All About Love by bell hooks for books that make me feel super posi.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Connor McCarthy

    shoot me

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    * Understanding Oppression: Gay Rights

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kariann

    If I had but one book on a desert island.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Burns

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victor

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cara (womanist bibliophile)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth

  27. 5 out of 5

    April

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Proustitute

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