Literary analysis of Selected Essays

The Laugh of the Medusa by Helene Cixous
Women must write about their selves and put women into writing of texts, in areas where women have been violently displaced.
Women’s writing is unique especially when they speak about their bodies—the sacred feminine sexuality. Women must express the areas of the repressed.
Women must detoxify Freud’s classification that a woman’s sexuality is a dark continent. Woman’s body, her erotic sensuality should be put into the catharsis of expressing the soul. All of her writing emanates from her body. The unknowable, mysterious, mystic woman is a passion in textures of writing.
Helene takes a gibe at publishing houses that censor and don’t publish woman’s writing.
Men in history have abused and molested women. Writing from the 18th century has been male-centered. Women have maintained a mask of their libido.
Women—write your body—your self must be heard. Woman’s writing should be made up of transgression. She should challenge male-centered phallic-language.
Women should yield their bodies to women. They should become passionate flowers of meaning.
Death of the Author by Roland Barthes
When writing begins, the author enters into a realm of death. Capitalist ideologies have attached great importance to the author. It is language that speaks and not the author. In place of the author, Barthes uses the scriptor. Writing is per-formative in nature and marks the expression of the body.
The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from innumerable centers of culture. Reading is a phallic penetration of interpreting the text.
Colonialist Criticism by Chinua Achebe
The aim of the colonialist was to contain and suppress the native population. Writers from decolonized nations educate themselves and become acquainted with European culture and express their wounded psyche and their repressed bodies.
Imaginary Homelands by Salman Rushdie]
A novel disturbs the truth of political, legal and military machinery of the state. For example the declaration of emergency in India by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was marked by one of forced sterilizations.
The Indian writer abroad looks at India with guilt tainted spectacles. Rushdie says he is a Muslim who eats pork and is thoroughly westernized. Writers live in multiple identities and multiple homelands. Salman Rushdie questions what it means be Indian and what it means to be outside India. Rushdie again says that my writing does not have a reader in mind but is shaped by ideas.
Writing Reading and the Public by Jean Paul Sartre
A writer expresses himself by disclosure. It is in love, hate, indignation, hope and despair that a writer’s world is transformed. By writing, the writer enters into the universe of meanings. A writer speaks about freedom that has been denied. A writer must transcend race, class, gender and nationality. Writing is also history but writing has to transcend history.
What is a Classic by T S ELIOT?
The word classic implies highest praise or contemptuous abuse. Eliot describes Virgil’s work as being a classic. A classic occurs when a civilization is mature. One of the signs of approach towards a classic is a style that aims at the complexity of the sentence.
Marxist Criticism by Terry Eagleton
Marxism begins with a historical analysis of literature. The capitalists and the proletariat make up the economic structure of the society. The function of ideology is to legitimate the power of the ruling class. All literary works are products of ideologies. Literature occupies the super-structure of the society. Terry Eagleton takes an example of T S Eliot’s poem: the Wasteland. The poem is directly determined by the spiritual emptiness, bourgeoisie ideology which springs from the crises of imperial capitalism.



Darling Mignonette,
Let me serenade you
With a waltz of an embrace…
Let me mouth you
With kisses like butterflies …
Lie on me,
You delicate sensual flower,
Let’s lick each other’s passions….
And swim to a sea of ecstasy.