‘The Divine’ and The Poetic in Hélène Cixous and in Diana Bellessi: Undoing Hierarchical Binary Oppositions
Contributor(s)Bagchi, Dr. Barnita
Hierarchical Binary Oppositions
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AbstractThis thesis looks at the engagement with ‘the divine’ that comes to life in the work of Hélene Cixous, the poet-writer and post-structuralist feminist scholar, and of Diana Bellessi, the Argentinian poet and essay writer much celebrated in her country and in the Hispanic world. The heterodox ‘divine’ which emerges from their work is an experience that calls for a space of intersubjectivity where a porous and multiple self can welcome ‘the other’. The undoing of hierarchical binary oppositions is central to both Cixous’s and Bellessi’s understanding of ‘the divine’, and this places this research at the intersection of post-structuralism and religious studies. Cixous and Bellessi find the freedom to disregard boundaries and move between seeming opposites both in ‘the divine’ and in ‘the poetic’, and more specifically in the poetic in language. This thesis shows how, in Cixous and Bellessi, ‘the divine’ and the poetic are associated concepts that dismantle the hierarchical binary oppositions self/other, spirit/matter, soul/ body, human/ non-Human, life/ death, linear time/ instant, belief/non- belief. Their work creates notions that overcome dichotomies restoring value to the terms repressed and opening the way for women’s liberation from the dictums of phallologocentrism. This thesis develops and interconnects three main areas of interest that these writers work on: radical spirituality, gender and poetics.