Aesthetic Sexuality
eBook - PDF

Aesthetic Sexuality

A Literary History of Sadomasochism

Romana Byrne

  1. 192 pages
  2. English
  3. PDF
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - PDF

Aesthetic Sexuality

A Literary History of Sadomasochism

Romana Byrne

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Table of contents
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About This Book

To understand why the concept of aesthetic sexuality is important, we must consider the influence of the first volume of Foucault's seminal The History of Sexuality. Arguing against Foucault's assertions that only scientia sexualis has operated in modern Western culture while ars erotica belongs to Eastern and ancient societies, Byrne suggests that modern Western culture has indeed witnessed a form of ars erotica, encompassed in what she calls 'aesthetic sexuality'. To argue for the existence of aesthetic sexuality, Byrne examines mainly works of literature to show how, within these texts, sexual practice and pleasure are constructed as having aesthetic value, a quality that marks these experiences as forms of art. In aesthetic sexuality, value and meaning are located within sexual practice and pleasure rather than in their underlying cause; sexuality's raison d'être is tied to its aesthetic value, at surface level rather than beneath it. Aesthetic sexuality, Byrne shows, is a product of choice, a deliberate strategy of self-creation as well as a mode of social communication.

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Information

Year
2013
ISBN
9781441183583
40

Table of contents

  1. Cover page
  2. Halftitle page
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. Contents
  6. Author’s note
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. 1 Introduction
  9. 2 Universal perversion and the laws of judgment: the Marquis de Sade
  10. 3 Brutal beauty: Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads and Mirbeau’s Le Jardin des supplices
  11. 4 Tragic self-shattering I: Nietzsche’s aesthetics
  12. 5 Tragic self-shattering II: delirious materialism in Bataille’s L’Érotisme and Histoire de L’oeil
  13. 6 Tragic self-shattering III: mortifying metaphysics in Réage’s Histoire d’O and Berg’s L’image
  14. 7 Sadomasochism as anti-aesthetic theater
  15. 8 Conclusion: fashioning BDSM today
  16. Works cited
  17. Index