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Voluptuous Yearnings: A Feminist Theory of the Obscene
     

Voluptuous Yearnings: A Feminist Theory of the Obscene

by Mary Caputi
 

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Caputi offers a broad theory of obscenity in contemporary American culture by answering the questions "What is obscenity?" and "How does obscenity operate within the confines of our society?" Drawing on psychoanalytic, postmodernist and feminist theory, she examines examples from many areas of contemporary art and culture ranging from Robert Mapplethorpe's

Overview

Caputi offers a broad theory of obscenity in contemporary American culture by answering the questions "What is obscenity?" and "How does obscenity operate within the confines of our society?" Drawing on psychoanalytic, postmodernist and feminist theory, she examines examples from many areas of contemporary art and culture ranging from Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial photography to Madonna's mixture of the religious and the erotic in the song "Like a Prayer," from novels including Joyce Rebta-Burditt's The Cracker Factory, and Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, to films including Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, Wim Wender's Wings of Desire, and Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.

Editorial Reviews

Sewsa News
Caputi, drawing on Freud, Lacan, and French feminist theorists, has written lucidly about a difficult topic. She argues forcefully that obscenity is essential because it demonstrates the fragileness of the culture and reminds us of another realm, the one without boundaries, the realm of continuity and nonbeing.
Christine Di Stefano
This is a remarkably good piece of work. In making her provocative and thoughtful case for the necessity of the obscene, Caputi's mystery of theoretical agendas and vocabularies is so good that she is able to write about them in a language that is accessible to the non-specialist and acceptable as well as interesting to the specialist. Beautifully written, carefully argued, and well-organized.
Kathleen Jones
Caputi has provided us with an original contribution to the analysis of debates about pornography. By focusing on the 'obscene' as an important category of human culture, Caputi's analysis promises to push debates about pornography in a more philosophical direction.
James Glass
...a fascinating analysis of the status of the obscene and its representation in pornography in modern culture.... Caputi's thesis is masterfully argued....

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780847678860
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1994
Series:
New Feminist Perspectives Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.36(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Caputi is assistant professor of political science at Saint Mary's College.

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