Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault
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Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault

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Jonathan Dollimore
753 g
229x152x25 mm

Returning to the early modern period, this study questions and develops issues of post-modernity. It shows how literature, histories and sub-cultures of sexual and gender dissidence may be relevant to current debates and discusses topics ranging from homophobia to transgression and its containment.
Wilde and Gide in Algiers; Some Parameters; Becoming Authentic; Wilde's Transgressive Aesthetic and Contemporary Cultural Politics; Re-encounters; The Politics of Containment; Tragedy and Containment; Towards the Paradoxical Perverse and the Perverse Dynamic; Augustine: Perversion and Privation; Othello: Sexual Difference and Internal Deviations; Freud's Theory of Sexual Perversion; Deconstructing Freud; From the Polymorphous Perverse to the Perverse Dynamic;Perversion, Power, and Social Control; Thinking the Perverse Dynamic; Homophobia 1: Sexual/Political Deviance; Homophobia 2: Theories of Sexual Difference; Subjectivity and Transgression; Early Modern: Cross-Dressing and Early Modern England; Post/modern: On the Gay Sensibility, or the Pervert's Revenge on
Authenticity; Desire and Difference; Afterword: Bibliography; Index
Why is homosexuality socially marginal yet symbolically central? Why is it so strangely integral to the very societies which obsessively denounce it, and why is it history--history rather than human nature--that has produced this paradoxical position? These are just some of the questionsexplored in Sexual Dissidence. Written by a leading critic in gender studies, this wide-ranging study returns to the early modern period in order to focus, question, and develop issues of postmodernity, and in the process brilliantly link writers as diverse as Shakespeare, Andre Gide, Oscar Wilde, and Jean Genet, and culturalcritics as different as St. Augustine, Frantz Fanon, and Michel Foucault. In so doing, Dollimore discovers that Freud's theory of perversion is more challenging than either his critics or his advocates usually allow, especially when approached via the earlier period's archetypal perverts, thereligious heretic and the wayward woman, Satan and Eve. A path-breaking book in a rapidly expanding field of literary and cultural study, Sexual Dissidence shows how the literature, histories, and subcultures of sexual and gender dissidence prove remarkably illuminating for current debates in literary theory, psychoanalysis, and cultural materialism. It includes chapters on transgression and its containment, contemporary theories of sexual difference, homophobia, the gay sensibility, transvestite literature in the culture and theatre of Renaissance England, homosexuality, and race.