By Elizabeth Chapman Hoult (auth.)
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Additional info for Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience and Hélène Cixous
Reading 1: Ovid—Orpheus’ Song: Pygmalion20 In Ovid’s interpretation of the story, the initial emphasis is on Pygmalion’s sense of his own superiority and on his condemnation of the women around him. He observes, judges, and is disgusted by them. The emphasis is on his avoidance of what he despises and his deliberate choice to remain chaste. There is no sense that Pygmalion himself is in need of or capable of transformation, but, instead, it is the female world outside that is grossly imperfect.
An analysis of two of those “descendents”60 —Rita and Carol— follows in the next chapter. CHAPTER 3 Educating Rita and Oleanna E ducating Rita1 provides a kind of archetype of the resilient learner from which the rest of this book radiates. David Mamet’s 1993 play Oleanna 2 features in this chapter because it represents the opposite— it offers a deferred reading of resilience through a negative image. Oleanna is an apophatic reading of resilience. Given the theoretical commitment of the study to deconstruction, it is necessary to examine both in order to understand how resilience is performed.
My interest in gender is therefore notional and metaphorical throughout the study. At some points in the book, there is a necessary and undeniable place for a consideration of gender in real terms, but mostly I am attempting to more broadly apply what Cixous has to say about women to marginalized adult learners—the miraculés, some of whom are men—in order to open up an understanding of their resilience. This is a good point at which, however, to own up to, if not resolve, the considerable problematics of appropriating female as metaphor in a text about learning.
Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience and Hélène Cixous by Elizabeth Chapman Hoult (auth.)