Perversion: Psychoanalytic Perspectives

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Perversion—its ubiquity in infantile life and its persistence in the psychical and sexual lives of some adults—was a central element of Freud’s lifelong empirical and theoretical work. Many psychoanalytic schools and orientations have since revisited the problem of perversion. Some authors have sharpened the definition of perversion by differentiating it from perverse fantasies, so-called near-perversions, and perverse traits, whereas others have sought to re-conceptualize perversion as an erotic form of hatred, a fixated anal object-relation, or a neo-sexuality. The result is that Freud's original view of perversion has been replaced by a large variety of, often contradictory, psychoanalytic perspectives on its etiology, development, and treatment.

This bi-partite collection of essays offers a series of perspectives on perversion by a range of psychoanalytic practitioners and theorists, and a selection of papers by scholars from related fields who work with, or critique, psychoanalytic theories on perversion.

These unique and invaluable contributions to the study of psychoanalysis, perversion, and culture stage a serious dialogue between the discipline of psychoanalysis and its critics and commentators on the controversial issue of non-normative sexuality. It is essential reading for students and practitioners of psychoanalysis, for cultural critics, and for anyone who wants to know more about the positions occupied by psychoanalysis in contemporary debates about sexuality.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781855759176
  • Publisher: Karnac Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Downing is a Reader in French Discourses of Sexuality at the School of Modern Languages and Philosophy Programme at Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author of Desiring the Dead: Necrophilia and Nineteenth-Century French Literature (2003), Patrice Leconte (2004), and of numerous articles and chapters on the intersection of sexuality and death in imaginative, psychoanalytic, and scientific discourses.

Dany Nobus is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Psychoanalysis at Brunel University, where he directs the M.A. Program in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and a Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Nebr. He is the author of Jacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis (2000) and Knowing Nothing, Staying Stupid: Elements for a Psychoanalytic Epistemology (with Malcolm Quinn) (2005). He is also the editor of Key Concepts of Lacanian Psychoanalysis (1997) and Journal for Lacanian Studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : locating perversion, dislocating psychoanalysis 3
Ch. 1 Perversion, perversity, and normality : diagnostic and therapeutic considerations 19
Ch. 2 An overview of perverse behaviour 39
Ch. 3 Perversion and charity : an ethical approach 59
Ch. 4 The problem of inscription and its clinical meaning in perversion 79
Ch. 5 The perversion of pain, pleasure, and thought : on the difference between "suffering" an experience and the "construction" of a thing to be used 99
Ch. 6 The structure of perversion : a Lacanian perspective 109
Ch. 7 Birth, death, orgasm, and perversion : a Reichian view 127
Introduction : perversion, historicity, ethics 149
Ch. 8 Perversion and French avant-garde art 1912-1916 165
Ch. 9 The perverse domination of the fascist and the Sadean master 187
Ch. 10 The feminist ethics of lesbian sadomasochism 217
Ch. 11 Maternal fetishism 241
Ch. 12 Lacan meets queer theory 261
Ch. 13 On sexual perversion and transsensualism 323
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