Desiring the Dead: Necrophilia and Nineteenth-Century French Literature

Desiring the Dead: Necrophilia and Nineteenth-Century French Literature

by Lisa Downing
     
 

ISBN-10: 1900755653

ISBN-13: 9781900755658

Pub. Date: 06/01/2003

Publisher: Maney Publishing

In the nineteenth century, literature shared with the medical and psychological sciences a strategy of examining the most extreme manifestations of human desire. While fetishism, sadism and masochism still resonate as concepts with critical currency, necrophilia has received little attention. In this groundbreaking study, Lisa Downing rescues necrophilia from the

Overview

In the nineteenth century, literature shared with the medical and psychological sciences a strategy of examining the most extreme manifestations of human desire. While fetishism, sadism and masochism still resonate as concepts with critical currency, necrophilia has received little attention. In this groundbreaking study, Lisa Downing rescues necrophilia from the margins of sexual desire, relocating it as a symptom and a pervasive fantasy of modern subjectivity. Drawing case material from the nineteenth-century French canon the author brings works by Baudelaire and Rachilde into dialogue with foundational European texts of sexology and psychoanalysis. She reads against the grain of traditional Freudian theories of sexuality, the conventions of nineteenth-century literary scholarship, and feminist critiques of the 'masculine' morbid aesthetic in order to bring to light a model of desire whose problematic nature afflicts existing discourses about sexuality and gender in nineteenth-century France and beyond.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781900755658
Publisher:
Maney Publishing
Publication date:
06/01/2003
Series:
Legenda Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.68(h) x 0.38(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsix
Introduction1
1From Sade to Sexology18
2Immobilizing Impulses: Death in Psychoanalysis46
3The Poetics of Baudelaire's Liebestod67
4Rachilde and the Death of Gender92
Conclusion120
Bibliography133
Index143

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