After the Lovedeath: Sexual Violence and the Making of by Lawrence Kramer

By Lawrence Kramer

This elegantly written e-book is a daring try to reinterpret the character of sexual violence and to visualize the opportunity of overcoming it. Lawrence Kramer lines brand new sexual identities to their nineteenth-century assets, drawing at the song, literature, and regarded the interval to teach how basic identification either promotes and rationalizes violence opposed to women.To make his case, Kramer makes use of operatic lovedeaths, Beethoven's "Kreutzer Sonata" and the Tolstoy novella named after it; the writings of Walt Whitman and Alfred Lord Tennyson, psychoanalysis, and the good judgment of desires. In formal and casual reflections, he explores the self-contradictions of masculinity, the transferring alignments of femininity, authority, and wish, and the interdependency of heterosexual- and homosexuality. while, he imagines possible choices which could let gender to be free of the prevailing process of polarities that unavoidably advertise sexual violence.Kramer's writing avoids the normal gown of highbrow authority and strikes among song and literature in a mode that's either intimate and potent. He combines expert scholarship with candid own utterance and makes transparent what's at stake during this the most important debate. After the Lovedeath could have a profound impression on an individual drawn to new how one can take into consideration gender.

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Sexual violence is a technique for sustaining the root disavowal of psycho-moral dependency when that disavowal is in ― 121 ― danger of failing. Violence against women does not so much deliver men from feminine abjection as deliver it to them; in the woman's violated body, in her tears, pleas, screams, useless resistance, the violator finds the image of an abjection to which his masculinity is superior. Pozdnyshev, for example, describes his wife, staring at him with her hands shielding her bruised eyes, as a rat in a trap.

The eye is distracted by adornments, veils, props, poses, fabrics, cosmetics, tricks of the light, tricks with hair, anything that conceals as much as it reveals. It does not matter whether this process works by glamorizing or degrading a woman, by fetishizing or objectifying her: the woman's lack is veiled by making her an eyeful. Whatever the means, she restores, even becomes, the phallus of which she threatens the absence. I have no doubt that this scenario is played out all the time. But is it really the whole story (a phallic question)?

Nobility carries the girl up only as far as abjection casts her down. The abjection can be enhanced without limit precisely because it has become an instrument of nobility. Masculine abjection, in contrast, always debases; it disfigures; it castrates. In "Tithonus," Tennyson imagines a monologue by the Greek lover of the goddess of dawn, who asked her for eternal life but forgot to ask for eternal youth. Abjectly feminine in relation to the goddess, a passive, clinging, dependent, figure of pathos, Tithonus swings, pendulum-like, between reliving long-lost jouissance in the morning light and vainly longing for death.

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