Commonplace: Helen Cixous, “Laugh of the Medusa”

“I want all. I want all of me with all of him. Why should I deprive myself of a part of us? I want all of us. Woman of course has a desire for a ‘loving desire’ and not a jealous one. But not because she is gelded; not because she is deprived and needs to be filled out, like some wounded person who wants to console herself or seek vengeance: I don’t want a penis to decorate my body with. But I do desire the other for the other, whole and entire, male or female; because living means wanting everything that is, everything that lives, and wanting it alive. Castration? Let others toy with it. What’s a desire originating from a lack? A pretty meager desire.

[…]

Elsewhere, she gives. She doesn’t ‘know’ what she’s giving, she doesn’t measure it; she gives, though, neither a counterfeit impression nor something she hasn’t got. She gives more, with no assurance that she’ll get back even some unexpected profit from what she puts out. She gives that there may be life, thought, transformation. This is an ‘economy’ that can no longer be put in economic terms. Wherever she loves, all the old concepts of management are left behind. At the end of a more or less conscious computation, she finds not her sum but her difference. I am for you what you want me to be at the moment you look at me in a way you’ve never seen me before: at every instant. When I write, it’s everything that we don’t know we can be that is written out of me, without exclusions, without stipulation, and everything we will be calls us to the unflagging, intoxicating, unappeasable search for love. In one another we will never be lacking.”

~ Helen Cixous, “Laugh of the Medusa”

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