The questions for this interview were suggested by a wide range of Cixous scholars and readers (see “Acknowledgements”). The interview was conducted in English, at the same time as the one that opens this volume, on 4 September 2007.
ss First, a question about influences. You have written — and spoken — a great deal about your literary influences, and about the profound and abiding dialogue you have with Jacques Derrida, but you have written — and spoken — less about the influence of philosophy more generally. Could you take a few moments to reflect on the importance of philosophy to your work? Which philosophers would you distinguish as being of particular importance in the evolution of your thinking?
cixous I belong to that species of writer who is philosophically structured. Shakespeare is a great philosopher. My dialogue with Derrida has developed over time. We started writing almost at the same time, and the back-and-forth of reading between us and exchanging — thinking, writing, analysing the world, textuality, philosophy, poetry — has been ceaseless all our writing lives. Regarding other philosophers, it all depends on what I'm writing. During the summer I've been writing a book where quite accidentally I came upon the necessity to include a dialogue with Plato — it was unexpected. I feel close in a way that is almost second nature to Derrida and Freud (although he opposed philosophy, he is an inspirer to philosophers). I have always read Heidegger with the utmost attention because he's interested in writing.