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Reflets réciproques

A Prismatic Reading of Stéphane Mallarmé and Hélène Cixous

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Pamela Marie Hoffer

Reflets réciproques: A Prismatic Reading of Stéphane Mallarmé and Hélène Cixous evokes the refractory aspect of a prism that bends and deflects light in order to produce a spectrum of twentieth-century thought emanating from the late nineteenth-century French literary avant-garde. Because the works of Mallarmé and Cixous are often described as hermetic and illisible, Jacques Derrida intervenes to play the role of intermediary through his separate writings on these poets. Important questions arise: How does the elliptical writing of Mallarmé relate to the hyperbolic writing of Cixous? What common strategies emerge and how do these strategies address the critical areas of sexual difference and political testimony for each writer?