By Elizabeth Chapman Hoult (auth.)
Read or Download Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience and Hélène Cixous PDF
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Additional resources for Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience and Hélène Cixous
Transformational learning is both bilateral and beyond the control of either player. This means that resilience on the part of the learner is far more elusive and nebulous than in the first version. Resilient learning in the story of Pygmalion becomes, in the hands of Hughes, something far more indefatigable, dangerous, and numinous. He takes the story out of the realm of the ordinary and into a supernatural space. Hughes’s Pygmalion has none of the arrogant certainty of the previous literal translation of Ovid’s misogynist.
This sort of sculpture/teaching is a process 34 ● Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine of revelation, discovery, and liberation, both for the sculptor and for what is inside the ivory. And so he falls in love with this creation that he can’t quite give himself credit for, and love for him is a process of waking up. Roles are reversed; he is awake, in love, astounded by what is happening, and he now has a real life in the place of what was previously no more than an excuse for a life. He is astounded by the rawness of his love, and he provides an invisible garment of modesty for the statue—his rather than hers—to protect him from what is so immediate and so perfect.
Her existence has been not dissimilar to the fate Venus decides upon for the reviled Propoetides, whose story starts the poem— she is almost banished, almost dead. Her task has been to find an artist who is ready to receive her. Pygmalion’s readiness is constituted in his fear and his unconscious. He is the passive recipient of another being— a spirit who enters his dreams and then his body as a way of creating a sortie for herself. The female is never passive in this version of the myth— she gets inside him long before he enters her.