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From the Publisher"Neither cultural study nor literary criticism exactly, though bursting at the seams with both, this daring book comes across as a literary criticism of culture, brilliantly retelling one of the deep, untameable stories of those primal transgressions that form and deform us. In a rolling novelistic voice of its own, it narrates a tale of intergenerational desire incestuously conceived by the brain of the Hebrew scripture upon the unconscious body politic of western familial order-only to be passed down centuries later through the revelatory glosses a Joycean Victorianist with a neo-Darwinian sense of evolving possibilities for human need, in particular for the release of the woman from within the law of the father and its violated taboos. The author of Comic Faith and Erotic Faith carries us this time from Lear's heath to Clinton's Oval Office, and across the media of painting and film as well as print, in a gripping episodic testament of broken faith, violated psychic contracts, and redeemed filial chances. Archetype, parable, syndrome, paradigm, you name it, but in any case haunting us still, the Lot Complex is tracked into modernity, with exhibits from Austen to Woody Allen, in an arresting narratology of human desire itself. By any measure, a sweeping achievement."—Garrett Stewart, University of Iowa
"In this wise, humane, passionately argued and eloquently written book, Robert Polhemus uncovers the incestuous father-daughter "Lot complex" at the core of western Judaic-Christian culture. Ranging from the Bible to Freud to Woody Allen, from Shakespeare to Mary Shelley to Lolita, from the Brontes to Shirley Temple to Bill Clinton, Polhemus persuasively argues that Lot's daughters have been transformed over time. They should be seen, not as the victims of patriarchy, but as the procreators of an increasingly powerful 'daughterland.' This is a book that every father, every daughter, should read."—Anne K. Mellor,Professor of English and Women's Studies, UCLA
"We know the reason powerful men hook up with younger women: because they can. But in his dazzling new book, Rob Polhemus asks a far more provocative and unnerving question: what do young women want from older men? Linking the Bible and the Brontes, Lewis Carroll and Chelsea Clinton, Shirley Temple and Linda Tripp, Lot's Daughters explores timeless territory with a new and spellbinding map."—Regina Barreca, Professor of English Literature and Feminist Theory, University of Connecticut. Author of They Used To Call Me Snow White But I Drifted and co-author of I'm With Stupid: One Man, One Woman, and 10,000 years of Misunderstandings
Between the Sexes Cleared Right Up.
"Traipsing through so many field of inquiry allows Pohemus to find Lot's daughters at the core of modern consciousness' . . . . Though dense and rigorous, Polhemus's book is quite lively: general readers with an interest in any of the figures discussed will be intrigued."—Publishers Weekly
"Lot's Daughters is not (or not merely) an academic unpacking of text. Its material includes paintings and movies and scandals—an exciting array of opportunities, from Midrash to Monicagate, each offering an answer to the eternal, critical question: what do you young women want?"— New York Times Book Review