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Cixous has written extensively about the act of writing. Far from being limited to theoretical formulations, Cixous's writing on writing is of a kind that is of great use in the practice of writing—especially her ideas about the play of language; the unconscious; how writing produces a sense of the self as other; writing as a departure and as death. It is also useful for an American writing in English to consider the contrast of English-language and French-language colorations of language play and trope. This essay is not an analysis of Cixous's Rootprints, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, and a few of her essays, but rather a discussion of using them.