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Parricidal Autobiographies

Sarah Kofman between Theory and

Vivian Liska

ABSTRACT When the French philosopher Sarah Kofman committed suicide in

1994 she left behind an impressive oeuvre in which both the autobiographical
genre and the treatment of women play a central role. Her theoretical reections
on both topics situate themselves in the interstices between psychoanalysis,
feminism and deconstruction and share a common concern: the respect of alterity
in all its guises. Kofman's resistance to the authoritative claim of the retrospective
closure underlying traditional autobiographies is closely related to her celebration
of an ecriture parricide, a mode of writing which undoes the repression of multi-
plicity and otherness. Shortly before her death Kofman published an autobio-
graphical account of her own childhood years after the deportation and death of
her father in a concentration camp. This article addresses the striking discrep-
ancies between the theoretical positions Kofman defends throughout her philo-
sophical writings and the autobiographical turn of her own last words.

KEY WORDS female autobiography ^ Holocaust ^ memoirs ^ memory ^ Sarah

Kofman ^ theory

When the French philosopher Sarah Kofman committed suicide in 1994

she left behind a corpus of over 20 theoretical books situated in the
interstices between psychoanalysis, feminism and deconstruction. She
became known as an iconoclastic critic of Kant, Rousseau and Freud, a
passionate defender of Nietzsche and a faithful and perceptive compag-
non de route of Jacques Derrida. Both the autobiographical genre and the
treatment of women play a central role in her work. Though never
linked directly, her theoretical positions regarding these two topics
share a common concern: the search for a mode of thinking and writing
capable of undoing the repressive authority and exclusionary mastery
inherent in a philosophical tradition that pretends to have conclusive
truths, to own the `last word'. Kofman's resistance to the retrospective

The European Journal of Women's Studies Copyright # SAGE Publications

(London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi), Vol. 7, 2000: 91101

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92 The European Journal of Women's Studies 7(1)

closure underlying traditional linear, unied and coherent autobio-

graphies is closely related to her celebration of an ecriture parricide, a
mode of writing with obvious feminist connotations which undermines
the authoritative claim of traditional major narratives. Yet, shortly
before her death, Kofman published a straightforward linear, unied
and coherent autobiographical account of her own childhood years
after the deportation and death of her father in a concentration camp. In
its content as well as in the implications of its narrative form it reveals
striking discrepancies between Kofman's theoretical writings and the
autobiographical turn of her own last words.
The autobiographical mode appears most explicitly in three different
guises in Kofman's work: as theory in the form of the literary analysis of
an unusual ctive autobiography in Autobiogriffures, as a medium for her
innovative reading of Nietzsche's autobiographical work Ecce Homo in
Explosion I and II, and as personal memoir in her own recit de jeunesse,
Rue Ordener, rue Labat. While the two modes rst mentioned here are
compatible with each other as well as with feminist concerns, the last,
her own autobiography, does not seem to t. After establishing links
between Kofman's theoretical approach to autobiography with her ana-
lysis of Nietzsche's self-portrait and her reections on women I focus on
the contradictions between her theoretical and her autobiographical


In Autobiogriffures. Du chat Murr d'Hoffmann Kofman writes: `Toute

autobiographie est mensongere, ecrite qu'elle est dans l'illusion retro-
spective et a des ns d'idealisation' (`Every autobiography is a lie, written
in retrospective illusion and for idealizing purposes') (Kofman, 1976: 99).1
In her demystication of the self-serving gesture of mastery inherent in
traditional autobiographies, Kofman's theoretical views on autobiogra-
phy show parallels with other feminist theories of the genre. Kofman
echoes assumptions underlying those feminist theories of autobiography
inuenced by a poststructuralist idea of the subject which relies on the
difference between a `phallocentric' unied and exclusionary position
of authorial mastery and a decentred, polyvalent and shifting notion of
self implied in a feminine mode of writing. In this context, the mainstream
tradition of autobiographical writing as exemplied by Augustine,
Goethe or Rousseau is considered to be dominated by the illusion that
one can draw a truthful, coherent and self-identical portrait of one's own
person. In traditional autobiographies the authenticity of a self-represen-
tation is guaranteed by the authorizing power of the author's conscious-
ness. They presume to be communicating the truth about a self in a

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Liska: Parricidal Autobiographies 93

transparent medium, in which, as Shari Benstock writes, `any hint of the

disparate, the disassociated, is overlooked and enfolded into a narrative
synthesis'. While Benstock notes that this model characteristically actua-
lized in male authored autobiographies `repeated itself until the advent of
what we now term modernism' (Benstock, 1988: 20) and especially until
Roland Barthes's experimental autobiography Roland Barthes par Roland
Barthes, Kofman, in Autobiogriffures, detects a subversive parody of this
mode much earlier, namely in the work of the German romantic writer
E.T.A. Hoffmann. Taking Hoffmann's Lebensansichten des Katers Murr, the
mock autobiography of a cat, as a model, she reveals the disruptive force
of an alternative autobiographical form in which the self-empowering
pretence of `fathering' a unied representation of one's own life is under-
mined. She shows how, in his phantastic tale, Hoffmann satirizes the
narcissistic insistence on original authorship, transgresses the law of the
autobiographical genre (Kofman, 1976: 72), undoes the expected pro-
gressive chronology through a fragmentary, rhapsodic form (Kofman,
1976: 73) and thereby `disrupts the order of the logos' (Kofman, 1976: 72).
`Introduisant l'autre dans le meme' (Kofman, 1976: 74), `introducing the
other into the same', Hoffmann subverts the repressive principle of unity.
And although Kofman ascribes this subversion not to women, like
Benstock, but to cats, she makes clear in her introduction to Autobiogrif-
fures that the disruption of the principle underlying male-authored
autobiographies is caused by that which, in the western tradition, is
considered its `other'.2
In her comments on Hoffmann's Lebensansichten des Katers Murr
Kofman unmasks the emprisoning and life-denying determinism under-
lying traditional linear and coherent autobiographies; Hoffman parodies
and subverts their implicit gesture of writing one's own life as a series of
necessary and causally related events explaining the truth behind one's
Ainsi se trouvent tournees en derision les indications precises de lieu et de
date de naissance, le determinisme par `le climat, le lieu et le moment' . . .
est-il si fondamental de savoir que X . . . grand homme, est ne ici ou la.
('That is how the precise indications about place and date of birth, the
determinism by "climate, place and moment", are derided . . . is it so
important to know that X . . . great man, was born here or there.')
(Kofman, 1976: 98)

Kofman derives this deance of one's origins and its importance for one's
later development from her readings of Nietzsche, more particularly from
his unusual, wild and ctional autobiography, Ecce Homo. In Explosion I
and II she praises his resistance to comply with the natural givens of one's
factual parental origins and celebrates his perpetual self-invention as a
source of freedom and a weapon against racist ideologies resting on the
strengthening of blood-ties. Kofman sees in Nietzsche's invention of a

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94 The European Journal of Women's Studies 7(1)

phantasmatic genealogy an act of `active forgetting', an opposition to any

determinism by the past and the ultimate afrmation of life.
In Explosion I and II (Kofman, 1992, 1993) she celebrates the philoso-
pher's refusal to follow in the footsteps of his anti-semitic environment
and his determination to forge his own opinions, to `create' himself anew.
The power to efface or go beyond the factors that supposedly determine
one's identity is, according to Kofman's reading of Nietzsche, an opening
towards manifold possibilities of self-realization, towards a playful plu-
rality of identities (cf. Kofman, 1994a: 7684). It is the concrete manifes-
tation of `the death of the stable and substantial subject as understood by
metaphysics, . . . the death of the ``bios'', if one thereby understands that
the ``life'' of the living has two parents as its origin to which one is linked
by blood' (Kofman, 1992: 29). This liberation from parental blood-ties and
genealogical determinations of the self is, according to Kofman, an
antidote to racism and misogyny and contradicts any interpretation of
Nietzsche in such terms. Yet, in view of Kofman's own biography, this
approval of Nietzsche's understanding of playful `self-creation' through a
multiplicity of masks without core holds two crucial and related para-
doxes, one involving the question of individual becoming, or identity, the
other of collective becoming, or history.
If, as Nietzsche suggests, one can make oneself become who one is, it is,
Kofman explains, thanks to an active, creative forgetting through which
the burden of the past can be shed. Similarly, history is for Nietzsche no
longer a linear unfolding of causally related events, but should rather be
viewed in terms of an `eternal return' that delivers from origin and telos,
thereby making possible an afrmation of every moment, of everything
that ever was, so that every moment of the past becomes something of
which one can and should be able to say: `come again'. Whatever
cannot be afrmed in this fashion soll untergehen, may vanish from the
memory of humankind. Kofman, who at one point, calls herself `un enfant
de Nietzsche' (Kofman, 1993: 371), sees in his refusal to accept the dictates
of origin and of a burdening past a source of individuation and freedom:
no one has to be caught in the frame of a predetermined identity. Yet this
understanding of identity and history Kofman praises in Nietzsche's
work clashes with the main thrust of the books she wrote in the last
years of her life. Nietzsche's call for an all-encompassing afrmation of
the now implied in the thought of the `eternal return' seems incompatible
with the imperative taken over from Theodor W. Adorno that opens
Paroles suffoquees: `Penser et agir en sorte que Auschwitz ne se repete pas,
que rien de semblable n'arrive' (`to act henceforth so that nothing like
Auschwitz ever happens again') (Kofman, 1987: 13). How can Nietzsche's
call for an `active forgetting' embodied in the autobiography as selective
reinvention and afrmation be reconciled with the main, compellingly
articulated concern of Kofman's book: to eternally remember the horrors

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Liska: Parricidal Autobiographies 95

of the past, of everything that happened la-bas, there, so that it never

happens again?3 And what does Kofman's celebration of Nietzsche's
proud and happy rejection of origins imply for her very last book, Rue
Ordener, rue Labat, this autobiographical account of her experience of the
war years which recalls the violent severing of her own background and
blood-ties, both inicted and deliberate, and admits the determining
importance of this event for her life and her work? This contradiction
between her theoretical position and her autobiography is emphasized by
the discrepancy between her theory of language and the language of her
own last book.


For Kofman, autobiography, like testimony, uses language as a tool to

master the past; Kofman speaks of a treacherousness inherent in language
once it is forced into use, in that it thereby dissimulates `loss of death,
difference, strangeness', in short an undened otherness which `it covers
up and masters with beautiful names' (Kofman, 1987: 33). In Maurice
Blanchot's (1980) words quoted by Kofman in Paroles suffoquees, `language
is designed to reveal, in what is, not what disappears, but what always
subsists'; it therefore inherently and falsely lays claim to `meaning, sense,
universality' (Kofman, 1987). Writing is, according to Kofman, the space
that allows for the rebellion against the authority of `last words' and nal
truth because of the `strange and uncanny disruption of ecriture, effacing
the proper name, paternity and any decidable sense'; it thereby under-
mines the tendency of language to speak `once and for all'. These words
from her Lectures de Derrida, published in 1984, open up a further paradox
in Kofman's writings: in a homage to Derrida she celebrates an ecriture
parricide (Kofman, 1984: 15), a `parricidal writing' in which the father
stands for the repression of multiplicity and otherness. The intention
behind this metaphorical construct, obviously derived from psychoanaly-
sis and the oedipal scheme, lies in an undermining of authority, which is,
ideologically, linked to a respect of difference and therefore to an anti-
fascist stance. But what of the metaphorical gure of `parricide' here? And
is it a mere metaphor? There seems to be more to it than that; Kofman
links Derrida's notion of ecriture to her own readings of Freud and writes:
Derridian ecriture relentlessly repeats the murder of the father. The multiple
decapitations of the logos, in all its forms, cannot but resonate on the scene
of the unconscious of every reader. Derrida, more than Freud, teaches what
killing the father means, that one never nishes `killing' the father and that
to speak of the logos as father is not just a mere metaphor. (Kofman, 1984:

What is it, one wonders, that resonated here on the scene of the

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96 The European Journal of Women's Studies 7(1)

unconscious of the Derrida-reader Kofman herself? The praise of an

ecriture parricide may make perfect sense within the context of Kofman's
deconstructionist, psychoanalytical or feminist concerns voiced in books
such as L'Enigme de la femme (Kofman, 1980), where Derridean ecriture is
taken into the service of an anti-patriarchal ecriture feminine. But ecriture
parricide gains an uncanny resonance years later when, before her death,
Kofman remembers: `Mon pere est mort a Auschwitz . . .'.


Fifty years after the events they relate, Sarah Kofman writes her own last
words, a little book with a seemingly insignicant title Rue Ordener, rue
Labat. This title indicates a place and, implicitly a time: the place and time
of Kofman's past. Contrary to her praise of the fragmentary and rhapso-
dic form, it is a story, telling a continuous, coherent sequence of events.
And it is, contrary to her celebration of Nietzschean self-creation and
deance of origin, an admission of the inescapable, merely repressed
impact of her own past. The book tells the story of Bereck Kofman's
deportation to Auschwitz, of his death there, reported by witnesses he
was buried alive after having refused to work on Shabbath and of its
aftermath for the little girl Sarah who was then eight years old. How can
Kofman write an autobiography in a form that denies her own verdict
against the retrospective telling of one's own becoming? The book starts
with the following words:
Of him, all I have left is his pen. I took it from my mother's bag where she
kept other memories of my father. A pen of a kind one doesn't make
anymore, and that one has to ll with ink. I used it during all my school-
years. It deserted me before I decided to let go of it. I have it still, put
together with scotchtape, it lies before my eyes on my desk and compels me
to write, write. My many books may have been necessary crossings to
become able to tell `this'. (Kofman, 1994b: 9)5

What is `this'? What is it that she can tell only now, 50 years and `many
books' later? `This' is put in quotation marks, and, in the original French,
reads (certainly not accidentally for the Freudian Kofman) `ca', it.
Rue Ordener, rue Labat is the rst and only entirely non-theoretical book
by Kofman. The `many books' she alludes to in its beginning are primarily
philosophical and theoretical. In Melancholie de l'art Kofman implicitly
reveals the function of her own theoretical work: philosophical specula-
tion, she writes there, is `a mirror that deects the all too horrifying, all too
unbearable images' (Kofman, 1985: 20). Theoretical writing is thus a
means of psychic survival, be it at the price of repressing, and thereby
mastering, insurmountable traumas.
The story is quickly told: in 23 brief chapters Kofman reconstructs the

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Liska: Parricidal Autobiographies 97

story of her childhood and youth in Paris after the deportation of her
father on the 16 July 1942. It starts with a poignant sketch of the father's
departure from the house in the rue Ordener, remembers his last postcard
from Drancy and evokes, in a brief ashback, the `religious and holy
atmosphere' in the house of the orthodox rabbi Kofman: the rituals he
performed, the holidays that united the family, the Yiddish spoken at
home. As the situation becomes more and more dangerous, Kofman has
to be hidden in different locations. At rst she cannot bear the separation
from her mother, has to be brought back again and again, refuses to eat,
sometimes using the pretext of having to keep the laws of Kashruth
inculcated into her by her father. The initially close bond with her mother
loosens, and nally breaks, when Kofman and her mother are taken in by
`la dame de la rue Labat', where they are to stay for the rest of the war. The
little girl will gradually turn away from her mother, a whining bundle of
sorrow, and become infatuated with the candour, the blond hair and blue
eyes of her benefactress, whose name is Claire, and who is not, as Kofman
recalls, without anti-semitic prejudices. She demonstrates to the little girl
the ugliness of the Jews by having her run her nger over `la petite bosse',
the little hunch of her nose, says that Kosher food is unhealthy, that Jews
have the Law but no moral principles and that they have crucied Notre
Seigneur Jesus Christ. Later she introduces her to literature and music and
initiates her to the world of the intellect.
Claire, whom she calls `meme', operates, under the eyes of her suffering
and impotent mother, a `radical transformation' on the little girl. After the
food she gives her pork and raw horse meat to strengthen her health
she changes her hairstyle, her clothing, her habits. A key moment of
detachment from her mother occurs when Sarah recalls the different
reactions of what she now presents as her two mothers at a time when she
got ill: her mother's Yiddish lamentations, which ll her with embarrass-
ment and the healing effect of meme's gentile serenity. After a while the
transformation and the child's change of loyalty from one camp to the
other, from rue Ordener to rue Labat is complete. At the end of the war,
Kofman lives with her mother again; it is a period of continuous illnesses
interrupted by moments of relative happiness thanks to books, school and
rare contacts with meme. Some time later her mother sends her to a home
for Jewish children to bring her back to Judaism; but on the last pages, her
life as an adolescent in postwar Paris, with a despised mother and
occasional visits to meme, is summed up in the image of her reading
Sartre's Les Chemins de la liberte with a lamp under her covers after her
mother has switched off the lights. As a young student she breaks all
contact with meme for a couple of years: `I could', Kofman writes, `not
take it to hear her talk about the past all the time' (Kofman, 1994b: 99).
Rue Ordener, rue Labat is a story told almost entirely as a coherent, linear
and continuous `history of events', in a simple and realistic form. Is Rue

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98 The European Journal of Women's Studies 7(1)

Ordener, rue Labat thus precisely what according to her theory should not
be told? And what about ecriture parricide? The traditional mode in which
the story is told lends a metaphorical meaning to the introduction
describing her father's pen, this old-fashioned, now broken writing tool
she put back together with scotchtape and that lies on her desk as she
writes. Could it be that the form of this memoir restores the father's
authority, if not his presence, by letting him guide her pen?
But just as the scotchtape only hides the crack in the pen, there lies, in
the midst of this seemingly smooth and sober memoir, a disruptive core:
the memory of a guilt and of an offence that underly not only this story,
but, to judge from the introductory words, Kofman's whole life and work.
As the title indicates, Kofman's memoir tells the story of her journey from
rue Ordener to rue Labat, places that are only one metro station apart. Rue
Ordener: the address of her father's home, her `original' place in the
`order of things', the place of order, of ordo, of law, of the law of her father.
Rue Labat, named after a missionary of the 17th century, but also la-bas,
there, over there. Rue Ordener, rue Labat retraces how she turned away
from her mother, her past, her father's memory and her Judaism to
`become what she was to be' until the end of her life: a secular intellectual
celebrating Nietzsche and ecriture parricide. In her memoir, the recollection
of her denial of her origins and blood-ties, Kofman faces the guilt,
repressed so many years, of having, in a way, `buried' her father a
second time: `A Kapo', it says, a Jew that joined the enemy, `buried him
alive'. A few pages further we read: `I had, it seems, buried the whole past
. . . I did not think of my father anymore at all' (Kofman, 1994b: 67). Of her
mother she remembers: `I had completely forgotten about her. I was
simply happy' (Kofman, 1994b: 66). In a chapter ambivalently entitled
`Liberations', she writes: `I now feared that the war may end!' (Kofman,
1994b: 67).
Her guilt is twofold: of having betrayed her origins and of having, in
the midst of the war years, `joyfully' joined the enemy. Through her
infatuation with meme, an infatuation occasionally carrying erotic under-
tones, Kofman turned away from her mother and her father which, in her
descriptions, stand for two sides of Judaism: from suffering and victimiz-
ation on the one hand, from law and authority on the other. She rejected
both to follow the Chemins de la liberte.
In one of the two little chapters that interrupt the otherwise continuous
history of events the other is the description of a scene in a Hitchcock
movie evoking the horror her mother inspired in her Kofman refers to a
painting by Leonardo that she used for the cover of her rst book,
L'Enfance de l'art (Kofman, 1970), depicting two women, the Virgin and
St Anne bending over the child Jesus. This reference is followed by a long
quote by Freud on the painting, in which he points out parallels with
Leonardo's own situation in childhood. He too had two mothers, his real

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Liska: Parricidal Autobiographies 99

one and his father's second wife, the latter `undoubtedly replacing the
former in his heart' (Kofman, 1994b: 74). According to Freud the painting
hides the pain and envy of the real mother who had to give to the noble
rival `rst the father, then the child' (Kofman, 1994b: 74). What does
Kofman's mentioning of this passage imply for her own story? Projected
back onto her own situation, the mother's double pain of the loss of father
then child to the same rival fuses, in her own case, those who took the
father the murderers of Auschwitz with meme, the one who `took' her,
took the child. Behind Kofman's blurring of the factual and crucial
distinction between the murderers of her father and the woman who,
after all, helped her survive the war, lies the memory of an offence and,
maybe, the secret link between her theory and her autobiography. And
this is where, far from invalidating her philosophical work, her memoir
also reveals her theory's autobiographical blueprint.
Both her autobiography and the theoretical positions she defended
imply the imperative to respect the stranger, the different, alterity in all its
guises. In Paroles suffoquees Kofman writes that love `implies the encounter
with the heterogeneous' and denounces the error of the belief that `prox-
imity, fusion, absence of difference and distance are constitutive of love'
(Kofman, 1987: 35). Meme's love, which divested the little girl of her
difference in order to turn her into one like herself, may have been such an
error. Without regretting the consequences or wanting to reverse meme's
`work', Kofman, both in her theoretical and her autobiographical writ-
ings, relentlessly tried to give a voice to the silenced other, who, at the
time, was also herself. The last words of her memoir are a homage to
meme tinged with bitter irony; at the funeral of the `dame de la rue Labat'
the priest recalls that the good woman had saved a little Jewish girl
during the war.
Francoise Collin calls Kofman a `lle indele et dele de peres morts'
and explains: `She always, and radically, thought and wrote within the
textual corpus of the other, the thinker or the writer of yesterday or
today, appropriating him for herself and estranging him from himself
only to better restitute him to himself. She only used the pen of the other.'6
In her memoir Kofman tells the story of an appropriation of her self by
meme who obliterated her Jewish otherness to make her the same le
meme as herself. Writing a traditional autobiography and thereby
metaphorically resuscitating the pen of her father within her own author-
ship, she remains faithful to her theoretical injunction of introducing the
other into the same. Like in Hoffmann's tale, who is same and who is
other becomes blurred, revealing the iterability of the gendered oppo-
sition between the different modes of writing the self.

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1. All translations from the French are mine.

2. It is therefore not surprising to nd a footnote in which Kofman points at the
connections made between women and cats (Kofman, 1976: 37).
3. For an extended analysis of this paradox in Kofman's work, see the excellent
article by Henk Van der Waal (1994).
4. `L'ecriture derridienne repete inlassablement le meurtre du pere. Les
decapitations multiples du logos, sous toutes ses formes, ne peuvent pas
retentir sur la scene inconsciente de chaque lecteur. Derrida, plus que Freud,
apprend ce qu'un pere veut dire, qu'on n'en a jamais ni de ``tuer'' le pere et
que parler du logos comme pere n'est pas une simple metaphore.'
5. `De lui il me reste seulement le stylo. Je l'ai pris un jour dans le sac de ma
mere ou elle le gardait avec d'autres souvenirs de mon pere. Un stylo
comme l'on n'en fait plus, et qu'il fallait remplir de l'encre. Je m'en suis
servie pendant toute ma scolarite. Il m'a ``lachee'' avant que je puisse me
decider de l'abandonner. Je le possede toujours, rastole avec du scotch, il
est devant mes yeux sur ma table de travail et il me contraint a ecrire, ecrire.
Mes nombreux livres ont peut-etre ete des voies de traverse obligees pour
parvenir a raconter ``ca''.'
6. `Elle pensait et ecrivait toujours, et jusqu'au bout, dans le corps textuel de
l'autre, du penseur ou de l'ecrivain d'hier ou d'aujourd'hui, se
l'appropriant pour le desappropier de lui-meme et pour mieux le rendre a
lui-meme. Elle ne prenait la plume que de l'autre' (Collin and Proust, 1997:


Benstock, Shari (1988) `Authorizing the Autobiographical', pp. 2030 in The Private
Self: Theory and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings. London:
Blanchot, Maurice (1980) L'Ecriture du desastre. Paris: Gallimard.
Collin, Francoise and Francoise Proust (1997) Sarah Kofman, Les Cahiers du Grif.
Kofman, Sarah (1970) L'Enfance de l'art. Paris: Payot.
Kofman, Sarah (1976) Autobiogriffures. Du chat Murr d'Hoffmann. Paris: Bourgeois.
Kofman, Sarah (1980) L'Enigme de la femme. La femme dans les textes de Freud. Paris:
Kofman, Sarah (1984) Lectures de Derrida. Paris: Galilee.
Kofman, Sarah (1985) Melancholie de l'art. Paris: Galilee.
Kofman, Sarah (1987) Paroles suffoquees. Paris: Galilee.
Kofman, Sarah (1992)Explosion I. De `l'Ecce Homo' de Nietzsche. Paris: Galilee.
Kofman, Sarah (1993) Explosion II. Les enfants de Nietzsche. Paris: Galilee.
Kofman, Sarah (1994a) Le Mepris des Juifs. Paris: Galilee.
Kofman, Sarah (1994b) Rue Ordener, rue Labat. Paris: Galilee.
Van der Waal, Henk (1994) `Sarah Kofman en de eeuwige terugkeer van
Nietzsche', Tmesis 7: 7089.

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Liska: Parricidal Autobiographies 101

Vivian Liska has been professor of German literature at the University of Antwerp UIA,
Belgium since 1997. She teaches German literature, feminist theory and rhetoric.
She received her BA at the University of Maryland, and her Licentie and PhD at the
UIA. Her publications include Die Nacht der Hymnen. Paul Celans Gedichte
19381945 (Bern: Lang, 1993); Vrouwen/Feminisme/Literatuur (with Wim
Neetens, Antwerp, 1993); Die Dichterin und das schelmische Erhabene. Else
Lasker-Schulers Die Nachte Tino von Bagdads (Tubingen: Francke Verlag,
1997); Die Moderne Ein Weib. Ricarda Huch und Annette Kolb (Tubingen:
Francke Verlag, forthcoming in 2000). She has also written various articles on
Nietzsche, Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man, Paul Celan, Gerhard Roth, Uwe
Johnson, Ilse Aichinger, feminist theory and modernism.

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