Perversion and the Social Relation: sic IV ([sic] Series)

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9780822330851: Perversion and the Social Relation: sic IV ([sic] Series)

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 rather than as aberrant behavior, 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 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 Žižek's meditation on “the politics of masochism” in David Fincher's movie Fight Club through readings of works including William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, and William Burroughs's Cities of the Red Night, the essays collected here illuminate perversion's necessary role in social relations.

Contributors. Michael P. Bibler, Dennis A. Foster, Bruce Fink, Octave Mannoni, E. L. McCallum, James Penney, Molly Anne Rothenberg, Nina Schwartz, Slavoj Žižek

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From the Back Cover:

"The only true awareness of our subjection is the awareness of the obscene, excessive pleasure (surplus enjoyment) we get from it. This is why the first gesture of liberation is not to get rid of this excessive pleasure, but to assume it actively."--Slavoj Zizek, from his chapter, "The Ambiguity of the Masochist Social Link"

About the Author:

Molly Anne Rothenberg is Associate of English and Co-Director of the Literature Program at Tulane University. She is a practicing psychoanalyst and the 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 Žižek 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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