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"Mamãe, disse ele," or, Joyce's Second Hand

Hélène Cixous and Eric Prenowitz
Poetics Today
Vol. 17, No. 3, Creativity and Exile: European/American Perspectives I (Autumn, 1996), pp. 339-366
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2307/1773413
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1773413
Page Count: 28
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"Mamãe, disse ele," or, Joyce's Second Hand
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Abstract

From A Portrait of the Artist to Ulysses, and from Joyce to Lispector, rupture and continuity suffuse these stories of departure, of separation, of death and of birth, stories of boys and of girls, mothers and fathers. What does it mean to depart? What does one want, what does one wish to accomplish with a departure? Does one want to depart or does one want to arrive? When a departure engenders a departure? And how to be sure one's clothes are not secondhand? Can one deconstruct the ties of kinship and of appearance to remake oneself a sublime family? Here comes the message: shredded. It only comes unhoped-for, of course. And at last Clarice Lispector changed it. Shedding a single drop, detaching one's selves the one from the other like a single drop. And on his grand voyage to be a man-poet, the boy needs the girl he needs not to have. Yes, the artist's hand is always second, trembling with zero and with one. Because when there isn't any, there is, nonetheless.

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