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Laughing with MedusaClassical Myth and Feminist Thought$
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Vanda Zajko and Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237944.001.0001

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Introduction *

Introduction *

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction*
Source:
Laughing with Medusa
Author(s):

Vanda Zajko (Contributor Webpage)

Miriam Leonard (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237944.003.0001

This book explores how classical myth has been central to the development of feminist thought rather than focusing on feminist interpretations of specific myths. It is written under the sign of the Medusa. Its title combines a reference to Hélène Cixous's seminal essay ‘Laugh of the Medusa’ with a figure from ancient myth who has become an archetype through her multiple receptions. ‘Laugh of the Medusa’ is regarded as one of the foundational texts of the movement known as écriture feminine, perhaps the most sustained exploration of myth's inspirational potential for feminism. Hélène Cixous has been associated predominantly with a group of French feminists, but is distinctive in her determination not to lose sight of the poetic qualities of myth in her theoretical work. This book looks at the relationship between myth and politics, myth and psychoanalysis, myth and history, myth and science, and myth and poetry.

Keywords:   classical myth, feminism, Hélène Cixous, politics, psychoanalysis, history, science, poetry, Medusa, receptions

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