Cover image for The third body
The third body
Cixous, Hélène, 1937-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Troisième corps. English
Publication Information:
Evanston, Ill. : Hydra Books/Northwestern University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
161 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ2663.I9 T713 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In The Third Body, the poet, novelist, feminist critic, and theorist Hélène Cixous interweaves a loose narrative line with anecdotes, autobiography, lyricism, myth, dream, fantasy, philosophical insights, and intertextual citations of and conversations with other authors and thinkers. Cixous evokes the relationship of the female narrator and her over, a relationship of alternating presences and absences, separations and rejoinings. This relationship assumes protean forms within a complex web of writing, creating a "third body" out of the entwined bodies of the narrator and her lover.

Author Notes

Born in 1937 in Algeria, Helene Cixous came to Paris, where she is currently professor of English, in 1955. After a dissertation on James Joyce, The Exile of James Joyce (1968), she began to publish novels, critical essays, and plays, most notably Le Portrait de Dora (1976), a feminist retelling of a Freudian case history. Jacques Derrida has named Helene Cixous the greatest contemporary French writer.

Cixous has been an active participant in the development of literary criticism after structuralism and has been a leading figure in the French feminist movement.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Cixous, called the greatest contemporary French writer by Jacques Derrida, does not direct her works to the general public. This narrative, originally published in 1970, is almost surreal in its intoxicating evocation of a woman and her male lover as one being. There is no plot, just sensation and many physical descriptions revealing the couple's interconnectedness, their feelings when they see and leave each other, their relationship with her parents, and the link between marriage and death. Mathematics, a lizard, and a mouse all play roles. There is considerable literary punning, with many historical and philosophical references and many allusions to the works of 19th-century German writer Heinrich von Kleist. Unconventional writing, obviously intense and inspired, this will appeal primarily to academic audiences.ÄAnn Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Silver Spring, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.