(June 5, 1937- )
Born in Oran, Algeria
Considered to be one of the mothers of poststructuralist feminine theory, along with Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva
Novels include 'God's First Name' (1967), 'Inside' (1969), 'The Third Body' (1970), 'Beginnings' (1970), 'Neuter' (1972), 'The Book of Promethea' (1983), 'Manna: For the Mandelstams and for the Mandelas' (1988), 'First Days of the Year' (1990), and 'Veils' (with Jacques Derrida; 1998)
Essays include 'The Exile of James Joyce, or the Art of Replacement' (1968), 'Nobody's Name' (1974), 'Laugh of the Medusa' (1975), 'The Newly Born Woman' (with Catherine Clément; 1975), 'Coming to Writing' (with Madeleine Gagnon and Annie Leclerc; 1977), 'Reading with Clarice Lispector' (1989), and 'Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint' (2001)
Established the women's studies department of the University of Paris VIII, which teaches urban planning, psychoanalysis, geopolitics, and gender studies (1968)
Awarded Prix Médicis (1969), Southern Cross of Brazil (1989), and Legion of Honor (1994)
Founded Centre de Recherches en Etudes Féminines (1974)
First coined the term écriture féminine (feminine writing), which discusses the female difference in language and text, in 'Laugh of the Medusa' (1975)
Also created the term phallogocentrism, which refers to the preference for the masculine when creating new meanings, with Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray
Plays include 'Portrait of Dora' (1976), 'The Indiade; or, India of Their Dreams' (1987), and 'Akhmatova' (1990)
A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2008-June 2014)
Why she might be annoying
Her works of fiction are not often read in English.
Jacques Derrida once boasted that he and Helene are 'more rooted in the French language than those with cultural roots in France'.
Her writing has been perceived as 'difficult to access' because of her 'playing with sounds'.
She criticized Edgar Allan Poe and James Joyce's writing styles, which she claims contain dialectical structures associating women with death.
Since the late 1970s, she has become more militant in her feminism.
In an interview with the magazine Le magazine littéraire, the journalist described her as 'paradoxically not well known despite receiving various rewards for her literature'. (2014)
Why she might not be annoying
Her life as an Algerian Jew contributed to feelings of exile and exclusion at a young age.
Her father died of tuberculosis when she was eleven.
Her son Stéphane died when he was still an infant. (1961)
She encourages women to express themselves through language.
She established Paris VIII as an experimental alternative to the traditional French academic systerm, which she felt was too male-dominated to her liking.
The women's studies department she established was often closed by conservative French governments.
Credit: Big Lenny
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For 2017, as of last week, Out of 4 Votes: 100% Annoying
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