Perversion and the Social Relation: sic IV

Perversion and the Social Relation: sic IV

by Molly Anne Rothenberg
     
 

The masochist, the voyeur, the sadist, the sodomite, the fetishist, the pedophile, and the necrophiliac all expose hidden but essential elements of the social relation. Arguing that the concept of perversion, usually stigmatized, ought rather to be understood as a necessary stage in the development of all non-psychotic subjects, the essays in Perversion and the

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Overview

The masochist, the voyeur, the sadist, the sodomite, the fetishist, the pedophile, and the necrophiliac all expose hidden but essential elements of the social relation. Arguing that the concept of perversion, usually stigmatized, ought rather to be understood as a necessary stage in the development of all non-psychotic subjects, the essays in Perversion and the Social Relation consider the usefulness of the category of the perverse for exploring how social relations are formed, maintained, and transformed.

By focusing on perversion as a psychic structure, as opposed to a derogatory description of behaviors, the contributors provide an alternative to models of social interpretation based on classical Oedipal models of maturation and desire. At the same time, they critique claims that the perverse is necessarily subversive or liberating. In their lucid introduction, the editors explain that while fixation at the stage of the perverse structure can result in considerable suffering for the individual and others, perversion motivates social relations by providing pleasure and fulfilling the psychological need to put something in the place of the Father. The contributors draw on a variety of psychoanalytic perspectives-Freudian and Lacanian-as well as anthropology, history, literature, and film. From Slavoj Zizek's meditation on "the politics of masochism" in David Fincher's movie Fight Club through readings of literature including William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner, Don DeLillo's White Noise, and William Burrough's Cities of the Red Night, the essays collected here illuminate perversion's necessary role in social relations.


About the Author
Molly Anne Rothenberg is Associate of English and Co-Director of the Literature Program at Tulane University. She is author of Re-Thinking Blake's Textuality. Dennis A. Foster is Frensley Professor of English at Southern Methodist University. He is author of Confession and Complicity in Narrative and Sublime Enjoyment. Slavoj Zizek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies, Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is the author of many books, and editor of Cogito and the Unconscious, Gaze and Voice as Love Objects (coedited), and Tarrying with the Negative, all published by Duke University Press.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822330974
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
05/28/2003
Series:
[sic] Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction. Beneath the Skin: Perversion and Social Analysis1
Fatal West: W. S. Burrough's Perverse Destiny15
Perversion38
"I Know Well, but All the Same..."68
Exotic Rituals and Family Values in Exotica93
The Ambiquity of the Masochist Social Link112
Confessions of a Medieval Sodomite126
"As If Set Free into Another Land": Homosexuality, Rebellion, and Community in William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner159
Contamination's Germinations187
Works Cited211
Contributors217
Index219

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