Wittig, Émilie Notéris: Approaching the Icon

Wittig, Émilie Notéris: Approaching the Icon

In 2023, it will be twenty years since the disappearance of Monique Wittig (1935-2003). While her thought seems to increasingly inform contemporary feminist and lesbian thinking, the author is still inscrutable. In this embodied essay that wants to be “draft for biography”Émilie Notéris leads the investigation and lifts the veil from the author’s literary and theoretical density.

The main figure of the French feminist scene in the 1970s, activist of the Movement for the Liberation of Women (MLF), signatory of “Manifesto 343” for the right to abortion, Monique Wittig is also – and above all – a writer.

Monique Wittig has the concern and desire to enter the history of literature, only this inscription, according to her, will enable her to act from the inside, working on conscience and the poetics of language.

And that’s why, by attacking “arbitrary separations” – between literature and theory, between private and public -, Émilie Notéris immerses herself in the texts as well as in the personal, intellectual and literary journey of Monique Wittig.

From L’Opoponax (Midnight, 1964)the story is not about a child but about childhood, even “lesbian childhood”, “the transition to adulthood and the renunciations that accompany it, anger in the face of oppression and the norm” to Guerrillas (Midnight, 1969)this “revolutionary utopian and feminist epic”Pass by Lesbian body (Midnight, 1973) etc straight thinking (Balland, 2001)Émilie Notéris renews the career of Monique Wittig in the form of an intellectual and personal investigation.

Wittig, Émilie Notéris: Approaching the Icon
Wittig, Emilie Notéris. In bookstores from June 10, 2022.

The author, here “He is primarily trying to return the body of Monique Wittig, who [lui] it seems incorporeal, whose thought circulates, whose writings are taken, but which man cannot locate”, is thus staged, throughout the text, in his researches and readings. The result is a work as demanding as it is embodied – a lively dedication “icon” who is Monique Wittig.

Wittig, Émilie Notéris, Les Pérégrines, 176 pp., €16. In bookstores from June 10, 2022.

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