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Document Details :
Title: A Hand that Mystically Writes
Subtitle: On Madame Guyon
Author(s): DE KESEL, Marc
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 31 Date: 2021
This article explores the way Guyon considers mystical selflessness. More precisely, it reads and comments upon some pages in her oeuvre in which she situates the annihilation of her ‘self’ not so much in the ecstatic mystical moments, as in the very act of writing about her mystical path. There, Guyon’s selflessness is incarnated in the pen that writes her texts. In her spiritual texts, it is ‘her hand’ that writes in a mystical way. This kind of scribal self-annihilation makes Guyon’s texts anticipate the literary writings of three centuries later. Many twentieth-century avant-garde authors would do everything to free their texts from any intervention of the writing ‘I’ or ‘self’. Speaking or writing without an ‘I’: that was what Guyon wanted to do in the seventeenth century, and that is what so many literary authors of the previous century also explicitly intended to do.