Manna: for the Mandelstams for the Mandelas (Exxon Lecture Series)
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In this act of willful writing, by turns lyrical and intense, Helene Cixous brings Osip Mandelstam and Nelson Mandela together through the common first syllables of their names, the dates of their respective exiles, and the women, Nadezhda Mandelstam and Winnie-Zami Mandela, who disclose and restore their partners' lives through language. For Cixous, politics is approached most openly and freely through poetry; social change cannot exist without linguistic change. Her poetic language moderates the historical, political, and personal tales of Mandelstam and Mandela to produce a new sense of individual tragedy and cultural possibility. This intriguing and beautiful book is an act of emancipation as it releases its subjects - along with its readers - from the restricted language of constraint and exile. Long distinguished among creative writers in France and as an intellectual in the United States, Helene Cixous is the author of more than thirty volumes, many of which are now available in English-language translation. She has been highly praised in France and elsewhere by such renowned intellectuals as Jacques Derrida.