Is the Rectum a Grave

Author: Leo Bersani
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226043444
Format: PDF
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Over the course of a distinguished career, critic Leo Bersani has tackled a range of issues in his writing, and this collection gathers together some of his finest work. Beginning with one of the foundations of queer theory—his famous meditation on how sex leads to a shattering of the self, “Is the Rectum a Grave?”—this volume charts the inspired connections Bersani has made between sexuality, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics. Over the course of these essays, Bersani grapples with thinkers ranging from Plato to Descartes to Georg Simmel. Foucault and Freud recur as key figures, and although Foucault rejected psychoanalysis, Bersani contends that by considering his ideas alongside Freud’s, one gains a clearer understanding of human identity and how we relate to one another. For Bersani, art represents a crucial guide for conceiving new ways of connecting to the world, and so, in many of these essays, he stresses the importance of aesthetics, analyzing works by Genet, Caravaggio, Proust, Almodóvar, and Godard. Documenting over two decades in the life of one of the best minds working in the humanities today, Is the Rectum a Grave? and Other Essays is a unique opportunity to explore the fruitful career of a formidable intellect.

Homos

Author: Leo Bersani
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674020871
Format: PDF
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Acclaimed for his intricate, incisive, and often controversial explorations of art, literature, and society, Leo Bersani now addresses homosexuality in America. Hardly a day goes by without the media focusing an often sympathetic beam on gay life--and, with AIDS, on gay death. Gay plays on Broadway, big book awards to authors writing on gay subjects, Hollywood movies with gay themes, gay and lesbian studies at dozens of universities, openly gay columnists and even editors at national mainstream publications, political leaders speaking in favor of gay rights: it seems that straight America has finally begun to listen to homosexual America. Still, Bersani notes, not only has homophobia grown more virulent, but many gay men and lesbians themselves are reluctant to be identified as homosexuals. In Homos, he studies the historical, political, and philosophical grounds for the current distrust, within the gay community, of self-identifying moves, for the paradoxical desire to be invisibly visible. While acknowledging the dangers of any kind of group identification (if you can be singled out, you can be disciplined), Bersani argues for a bolder presentation of what it means to be gay. In their justifiable suspicion of labels, gay men and lesbians have nearly disappeared into their own sophisticated awareness of how they have been socially constructed. By downplaying their sexuality, gays risk self-immolation--they will melt into the stifling culture they had wanted to contest. In his chapters on contemporary queer theory, on Foucault and psychoanalysis, on the politics of sadomasochism, and on the image of "the gay outlaw" in works by Gide, Proust, and Genet, Bersani raises the exciting possibility that same-sex desire by its very nature can disrupt oppressive social orders. His spectacular theory of "homo-ness" will be of interest to straights as well as gays, for it designates a mode of connecting to the world embodied in, but not reducible to, a sexual preference. The gay identity Bersani advocates is more of a force--as such, rather cool to the modest goal of social tolerance for diverse lifestyles--which can lead to a massive redefining of sociality itself, and of what we might expect from human communities. Reviews of this book: "Perhaps no one since Leo Bersani in 'Is the Rectum a Grave?' has written so convincingly against the danger of homosexual assimilation as Leo Bersani in Homos...One of the strongest elements of [this book] is Bersani's attack on things which promote a `denial of sex,' whether it be sex acts themselves or, more importantly, the context in which those sex acts are made possible...Homos is a profound piece of imaginative literature." DD--Dale Peck, Voice Literary Supplement "In Homos, Leo Bersani effectively attacks some sacred cows of gay cultural theory. Most obviously, he argues against the tenet that gay and lesbian identities are socially constructed and so ultimately (indeed, preferably) dissolvable...Refreshingly, [Bersani] also does not skate round sensitive questions such as the status of sadomasochism within gay sexual practice, and the tortuousness of the political liaison between gays and lesbians...Bersani emerges as our most persuasive advocate of homosexual identities that offer and require social resistance--he terms this 'anticommunitarianism'--but also as perhaps the only writer in the field who convincingly brings together psychological and sociological accounts of sexuality." DD--Richard Canning, New Statesman & Society "Bersani engages with questions which the gay movement cannot ignore." DD--Times Literary Supplement "In his provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book, Homos, Bersani argues for the need to preserve the 'otherness' that he maintains is the essential core of homosexual identity." DD--David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle "Homos is one of the most interesting books to appear in lesbian and gay literature--in fact its vision is so broad that it places lesbian and gay readers centre stage in what could be a revolution." DD--Our Times "Leo Bersani, one of the most interesting, original and sophisticated of...literary historians, has written primarily on Modernism, from Baudelaire to Beckett and Genet, using Freud's metapsychology as a way of penetrating into the radical implications of their thought...[His] work...[is] a surprise and a revelation, both careful and highly original...It is deeply exciting to engage with Bersani's ideas. They allow us to open up traditional psychoanalytic theory, so that it is no longer a mere therapeutic strategy, and consequently a device for social control and homogeneity, but instead a larger perspective for understanding and valuing those possibilities and differences that can constitute human experience." DD--Kenneth Lewes, Psychoanalytic Books "Homos is an extremely persuasive analysis of the `anticommunal' freedom made possible by `perverse' sexuality...Bersani's argument is at once subtle, even brilliant." DD--Peggy Phelan, Contemporary Sociology

Friendship as a Way of Life

Author: Tom Roach
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438439997
Format: PDF, ePub
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Develops Foucault’s late work on friendship into a novel critique of contemporary GLBT political strategy.

Intimacies Large Print 16pt

Author: Leo Bersani
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459605462
Format: PDF, ePub
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Two gifted and highly prolific intellectuals, Leo Bersani and Adam Phillips, here present a fascinating dialogue about the problems and possibilities of human intimacy. Their conversation takes as its point of departure psychoanalysis and its central importance to the modern imagination - though equally important is their shared sense that by misleading us about the importance of self-knowledge and the danger of narcissism, psychoanalysis has failed to realize its most exciting and innovative relational potential. In pursuit of new forms of intimacy they take up a range of concerns across a variety of contexts. To test the hypothesis that the essence of the analytic exchange is intimate talk without sex, they compare Patrice Leconte's film about an accountant mistaken for a psychoanalyst, Intimate Strangers, with Henry James's classic novella The Beast in the Jungle. A discussion of the radical practice of bare backing - unprotected anal sex between gay men - delineates an intimacy that rejects the personal. Even serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the Bush administration's war on terror enter the scene as the conversation turns to the way aggression thrills and gratifies the ego. Finally, in a reading of Socrates' theory of love from Plato's Phaedrus, Bersani and Phillips call for a new form of intimacy which they term ''impersonal narcissism''; a divestiture of the ego and a recognition of one's non-psychological potential self in others. This revolutionary way of relating to the world, they contend, could lead to a new human freedom by mitigating the horrifying violence we blithely accept as part of human nature. Charmingly persuasive and daringly provocative, Intimacies is a rare opportunity to listen in on two brilliant thinkers as they explore new ways of thinking about the human psyche.

Are the Lips a Grave

Author: Lynne Huffer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231164165
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Lynne Huffer’s ambitious inquiry redresses the rift between feminist and queer theory, traversing the space of a new, post-moral sexual ethics that includes pleasure, desire, connection, and betrayal. She begins by balancing queer theorists’ politics of sexual freedoms with a moralizing feminist politics that views sexuality as harm. Drawing on the best insights from both traditions, she builds an ethics centered on eros, following Michel Foucault’s ethics as a practice of freedom and Luce Irigaray’s lyrical articulation of an ethics of sexual difference. Through this theoretical lens, Huffer examines everyday experiences of ethical connection and failure connected to sex, including queer sexual practices, sodomy laws, interracial love, pornography, and work-life balance. Her approach complicates sexual identities while challenging the epistemological foundations of subjectivity. She rethinks ethics “beyond good and evil” without underestimating, as some queer theorists have done, the persistence of what Foucault calls the “catastrophe” of morality. Elaborating a thinking-feeling ethics of the other, Huffer encourages contemporary intellectuals to reshape sexual morality from within, defining an ethical space that is both poetically suggestive and politically relevant, both conceptually daring and grounded in common sexual experience.

Seven Days

Author: Deon Meyer
Publisher: Random House Canada
ISBN: 0307360210
Format: PDF, ePub
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"I'll shoot one policeman every day, until you arrest the murderer of Hanneke Sloet," says the e-mail to the South African Police Services. And then the sniper turns threat into reality. Bennie Griessel has to reopen the Sloet dossier. The case is 40 days old, the trail has gone cold. No motive, no leads, just a set of nude photographs, a very complicated business transaction, and immense pressure from the brass, the media, and the relentless, unfathomable sniper. And through it all, Griessel has to keep his love interest, the alcoholic, former singing sensation Alexa Barnard, sober for her comeback concert, cope with his daughter's neanderthal boyfriend, his son's shenanigans, and his new partner's idiosyncrasies--and try to tame his own all-consuming lust for the soothing powers of the bottle. Seven days of hell.

The Freudian Body

Author: Leo Bersani
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231062190
Format: PDF, Kindle
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An epic spanning more than half a century of Taiwan's history, this breathtaking historical novel traces the fortunes of the Pengs, a family of Hakka Chinese settlers, across three generations from the 1890s, just before Taiwan was ceded to Japan as a result of the Sino-Japanese war, through World War II. Li Qiao brilliantly re-creates the dramatic world of these pioneers--and the colonization of Taiwan itself--exploring their relationships with the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan and their struggle to establish their own ethnic and political identities. This carefully researched work of fiction draws upon Li's own experiences and family history, as well as oral and written histories of the era. Originally published in Chinese as a trilogy, this newly translated edition is an abridgement for English-speaking readers and marks the work's first appearance in the English-speaking world. It was well-received in Taiwan as an honest--and influential--recreation of Taiwan's history before the relocation of the Republic of China from the mainland to Taiwan. Because Li's saga is so deeply imbued with the unique culture and complex history of Taiwan, an introduction explaining the cultural and historical background of the novel is included to help orient the reader to this amazingly rich cultural context. This informative introduction and the sweeping saga of the novel itself together provide an important view of Taiwan's little known colonial experience.

After Sex

Author: Janet Halley
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822349094
Format: PDF
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Prominent participants in the development of queer theory explore the field in relation to their own intellectual itineraries, reflecting on its accomplishments, limitations, and critical potential.

Reclaiming Sodom

Author: Jonathan Goldberg
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415907552
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Reclaiming Sodom explores alternatives to thes force of the Sodomitic biblical narrative in Islamic, non-western, and western traditions, and discusses the ways in which sodomy calls into question normative definitions of sexuality and gender. The collection pursues the "pleasures and dangers" of these alternatives, and takes on Proust's refusal to imagine a social movement founded on the "stigma" of Sodom.