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Genius in FranceAn Idea and Its Uses$
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Ann Jefferson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160658

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160658.001.0001

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Derrida, Cixous, and the Impostor

Derrida, Cixous, and the Impostor

(p.219) Chapter 19 Derrida, Cixous, and the Impostor
Genius in France

Ann Jefferson

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Derrida's, Genèses, généalogies, genres et le génie (Geneses, genealogies, genres and genius), the text of a lecture given in 2003 to mark the gift made by Hélène Cixous of her archive to the Bibliothèque nationale de France. One year after the publication of the third volume of Kristeva's Le Génie féminin, genius and gender are once again associated in relation to an individual figure—in this case, the writer Hélène Cixous. As Derrida's compound title indicates, genius is not the sole topic of his discussion, but the occasion is the pretext for a thoroughgoing reevaluation of the notion as exemplified by Cixous herself and, in particular, as implied by the narrative of her past affair with an American boyfriend and self-proclaimed genius. The chapter examines Derrida's rethinking of the concept of genius, as well as the associations between genius and imposture.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous, gender, imposture, counterfeit genius

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