Amorous Acts: Lacanian Ethics in Modernism, Film, and Queer Theory

Hardcover (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 29%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.39
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 55%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $13.39   
  • New (5) from $23.62   
  • Used (6) from $13.39   


Amorous Acts illustrates the value of psychoanalytic theory for comprehending relationships, experiences, art, politics, and all sorts of human interactions. More specifically, it employs psychoanalysis to show how queer theory is operating to effect a non-heterosexist social order. Although the Lacanian subject in Love can only experience his/her self-shattering, Lacan's concept of Love is seen here as politically useful. This study breaks down Lacanian Love into three different forms and tries to unveil the danger, as well as especially the cultural potential, of the most intense of these variations. To arrive at this position, Amorous Acts first works out the meaning of Lacan's "ethics of desire" by analyzing several modern British novels (by E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, and Graham Greene), as well as some contemporary films (Breaking the Waves, Seventh Heaven, and Damage) and then by arguing with Zizek through a reading of Kieslowski's film "White". Finally, queer theory as it has been brought into being by Foucault, Halperin, Bersani, Butler, and Edelman is put into relation with Lacan's notion of the authentic act. Queer theory engages Lacan's conception of self-shattering Love to traverse the pernicious fundamental fantasy of heterosexist reproduction.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Taking up recent debates in Lacanian theory between the "ethics of desire" and a more militant celebration of jouissance, Amorous Acts provocatively weaves these debates together with readings of some major texts of literary modernism (Forster, Woolf and Lawrence), and intervenes in contemporary discussions of queer theory, perversion, and the authentic act. This book moves debates well beyond the familiar ruts of Hegel, Saussure and sexual difference in which Lacan's thought has become mired."—Charles Shepherdson, SUNY University of Albany

"Amorous Acts speculates on the political effects of a distinctively psychoanalytic ethics, contending that among the ruins of psychic coherence may be discerned the foundation for a new form of social organization. More perceptively than other Lacanian critics, Frances Restuccia shows how the politics of desubjectivation have been debated in queer theory for some time. Her provocative contribution to this debate, composed in relentless pursuit of a queerer world, is sure to engender controversy."—Tim Dean, Professor of English, University at Buffalo (SUNY)

"This book will—perhaps even should—sit on the shelf of every institution, academic or professional, where it will be the go-to book for those who concern themselves with these important subjects."—CHOICE

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804751827
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/17/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances L. Restuccia is Professor of English at Boston College. She is author of Melancholics in Love: Representing Women's Depression and Domestic Abuse (2000) and James Joyce and the Law of the Father (1989). She is editor of the contemporary theory series at Other Press and co-chair of "Psychoanalytic Practices" at The Humanities Center at Harv

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 The paradox of Lacanian ethics : ethical erogenous zones 1
2 Modernism's Lacanian ethics : compensating for the lack of a sexual relation 28
3 Impossible love in contemporary film : mystifying hysteria 69
4 The taming of the real : Zizek's missed encounter with Kieslowski's insight 95
5 Queen Ascesis : it's a queer world, after all 119
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)