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Diotima at the BarricadesFrench Feminists Read Plato$
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Paul Allen Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199640201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640201.001.0001

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Introduction: The Sublime Freedom of the Ancients

Introduction: The Sublime Freedom of the Ancients

Beauvoir, Cixous, and Duras on Gender, the Erotic, and Transcendence

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: The Sublime Freedom of the Ancients
Source:
Diotima at the Barricades
Author(s):

Paul Allen Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640201.003.0001

This chapter sketches a trajectory stretching from Simone de Beauvoir to Marguerite Duras, as mediated by Diotima’s speech in Plato’s Symposium. These texts stand as tokens for the intricate set of movements through which gender, philosophy, and the erotic have pursued their minutely choreographed dance from the dawn of the philosophical tradition to the deconstruction of Western metaphysics. This introduction, after an initial excursus that sketches the basic problematic, looks at: Simone de Beauvoir, for whom antiquity yields a moment of sublime transcendence analogous to the concepts of woman and liberté ; Hélène Cixous, who coined the term écriture féminine; and Marguerite Duras, whose novels and films elaborate a uniquely feminine style that looks forward to the textual practices of Cixous and Irigaray.

Keywords:   Simone de Beavoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Hélène Cixous, Marguerite Duras, Diotima, Socrates, Alcibiades, Agathon, Jacques Lacan, André Breton

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