Mourning Sex: Performing Public Memories

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Overview

This is a book about the exhilaration and the catastrophe of embodiment. Analyzing different instances of injured bodies, Peggy Phelan considers what sustained attention to the affective force of trauma might yield for critical theory. Advocating what she calls "performative writing", she creates an extraordinary fusion of critical and creative thinking which erodes the distinction between art and theory, fact and fiction.
The bodies she examines here include Christ's, as represented in Caravaggio's painting The Incredulity of St Thomas, Anita Hill's and Clarence Thomas's bodies as they were performed during the Senate hearings, the disinterred body of the Rose Theatre, exemplary bodies reconstructed through psychoanalytic talking cures, and the filmic bodies created by Tom Joslin, Mark Massi, and Peter Friedman in Silverlake Life: The View From Here.
This new work by the highly-acclaimed author of Unmarked makes a stunning advance in performance theory in dialogue with psychoanalysis, queer theory, and cultural studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415147590
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/24/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Peggy Phelan is Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: this book's body 1
2 Whole wounds: bodies at the vanishing point 23
3 Immobile legs, stalled words: psychoanalysis and moving deaths 44
4 Uncovered rectums: disinterring the Rose Theatre 73
5 Bloody nose, loose noose: hearing Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas 95
6 Shattered skulls: Rodney King and Holbein's The Ambassadors 119
7 Failed live(r)s: whatever happened to her public grief? In memory of Rena Grant (1959-1992) 129
8 Infected eyes: Dying Man With A Movie Camera, Silverlake Life: The View From Here 153
Bibliography 174
Index 181
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