Essays

The Body That Moves the Hand That Writes was published in Volume 16, number 2 of TEXT, October 2012.

Hélène Cixous published Coming to Writing in 1991. It is a list, a love letter, a memoir, a writing history. It speaks to exile, creativity, mother tongues, and language. It is an origin story and the tracery of a creative life. I came to writing in increments; a writer born of writers born of writers meant that writing, text, had already been seeded through my blood. The desire to write, that pulsing odd thing, was not something I could escape. It was situated not just in synapses, but in capillaries and cartilage, in bone. I came late to Coming to Writing, but when I got there, it was if I had been reading it for all of my life. Not reading like drawing text in through my eyes, but reading with my whole body, all of me echoing through. This echoing flesh will double and redouble, will rise and fall like proving dough, will lead you through Cixous, will bring you to writing.

Cixous, H. (1991). “Coming to writing” and other essays. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

The Body that Read the Laugh: Cixous, Kristeva, and Mothers Writing Mothers was published in a special edition of M/C Journal titled ’embody’ on August 22, 2012.

Helene Cixous says you must “write your self, your body must be heard”, and this is what I do. The body that read the laugh is the story of a body that feeds and is fed, that writes and is written, that describes the semiotics of tears and milk. By fictocritically exploring Kristeva’s Stabat Mater, I will lay myself down alongside theory. I will take you to the place where two bodies are simultaneously one, where the inside is out; past the skin. If there’s anything that should come from the attempt to answer Cixous, to write my self, it should be that freedom and theory, boundary-lessness, is where I reside. If anything should come from this, it is the knowing that theory is the most creative pursuit, that there are less divisions than any of us realise, and that the leakiness of bodies, of this body, will get me there.

Blood and Guts in Written on the Body was published in Volume 5 of Swinburne’s journal Bukker Tillibul in 2011.

Fictocriticism and Queer Theory are slippery forms, falling through the cracks of discourse to the spaces between, and sometimes in these spaces the two meet – if not meet, they at least bump up against each other, pushing into then back out, exchanging fluid then drawing away. I want to explore the juncture between Queer Theory and fictocriticism by looking at the writing of Kathy Acker and Jeanette Winterson. Both Acker and Winterson are subversive; they are writing their own threshold literature, standing on the edge, playing with unreliable narrators, interrogating desire, and asking (no, demanding) that readers make their own way through their texts. Both are bringing women to writing, bringing themselves to writing, writing themselves through their bodies.

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