Luce Irigaray and the Female Imaginary

Speaking as a Woman

RP 043 () / Article

Although Luce Irigaray’s name is beginning to be come more familiar in England, her work has not, for the most part, been translated, so that non-French- speaking readers have had to confine themselves to the odd bits and pieces – the translation of an interview in Ideology and Consciousness (1977), a few excerpts in New French Feminisms (1981) and in Signs (1980, 1981). Now two of her books have been published in translation by Cornell University Press, Speculum (translated by Gillian C. Gill), and This Sex Which Is Not One (translated by Catherine Porter), giving the opportunity to read in more depth (though as far as Speculum is concerned, the translator has not always respected the ambiguity and plurality of Irigaray’s text, and a spot check reveals that in some places her grasp of French grammar seems slightly shaky). However, these two books appeared in French in 1974 and 1977 respectively, and in the meantime, Irigaray has written a number of other books developing the theme s of the early two. The present article sets out to offer some introductory remarks, putting Speculum and This Sex in the context of the rest of her work.

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