World of Perversion, The: Psychoanalysis and the Impossible Absolute of Desire

World of Perversion, The: Psychoanalysis and the Impossible Absolute of Desire

by James Penney

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Overview

An original critique of queer theory, from a psychoanalytic perspective.

In The World of Perversion, James Penney argues that antihomophobic criticism has nothing to lose—and indeed everything to gain—by reclaiming the psychoanalytic concept of perversion as psychic structure. Analyzing the antagonism between psychoanalytic approaches to perversion and those inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, Penney explores how different assumptions about sexuality have determined the development of contemporary queer theory, and how the universalizing approach to homosexuality in psychoanalysis actually leads to more useful political strategies for nonheterosexual subjects. Having established this theoretical context, Penney focuses on works by Georges Bataille, Blaise Pascal, Denis Diderot, and Jacques Lacan, tracing the implications of various sexual and moral understandings of the term perversion, and illustrating how a psychoanalytic approach to the question of perversion enables politicized readings that are foreclosed by a Foucauldian methodology.

James Penney is Assistant Professor in the Cultural Studies Program at Trent University.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791481677
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 02/01/2012
Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 259
File size: 447 KB

About the Author

James Penney is Assistant Professor in the Cultural Studies Program at Trent University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Epistemologies of Perversion

Perversity and Perversion
Perversion as Power
Perversion as Structure
Fetishism, Sexual Difference, Homosexuality
Worlds of Perversion: A Reader’s Guide

2. Confessions of a Medieval Sodomite

Meet Gilles de Rais
The Spectacle of Perversion
The Tragedy of History
An Innocent Transference
Radically Evil?
The Perverse Sacrifice

3. Cleopatra’s Nose

Pascal's Modernity
The Tragic Absolute
From Sin to Infinity
Ideological State Automatons
A Distracted Dialectic
Grace, or the Act of Faith

4. This Whole World of Perversion

Dialogue and Dialectic
The Cynical Other
A Revolt against the Negative
Wealth and Power
Hysterical Pantomime
The Beyond of Perversion

5. The Guardian of Criminal Being

Lacan contra Hegel
Ethical Beauty
The Real of Destiny
Pleasure Unbound
Suffering for Beauty
Artfully Screwed

6. Concluding (Un)Queer-Theoretical Postscript

Perversion and Its Discontents
A Dynamic Perversion
The Minoritarian Temptation
Hysteria in the Shadow of the State
The Paradox of Desublimation
The Subject of Sex

Notes
Index

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