Coco d’Hont | On Sadomasochism, Fantasy and Transgression: Rethinking Power and Gender through Histoire d’O

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

Histoire d’O by Pauline Réage is described by some critics as horrible sadomasochistic pornography which glorifies patriarchy and violence against women. However, if one reads the novel as a fictional exploration of certain ideas instead of a depiction of reality, and if one takes into account the assumption that sadomasochism is a game with strict rules, it becomes possible to use Histoire as a tool for rethinking power and gender dynamics. In this article, this subversive function of Histoire is explored by analyzing the role of consent and the position of women in the story.

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November 21st, 2014

Joost Vormeer | A ‘Perverse’ Stereoscopic Vision in Gustave Flaubert’s Salammbô

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

This article investigates the possibility of a stereoscopic vision in Gustave Flaubert’s novel Salammbô, a gloomy narrative of erotic obsession. Referring to Jonathan Crary’s study Techniques of the Observer in which the author explains the epistemological differences between eighteenth century and nineteenth century notions of vision, I will apply the notion of vision to this literary text. Crary’s understanding of the stereoscope as a pivotal optical instrument in the context of nineteenth century vision and visuality, enables me to analyze some of the many visual descriptions in Salammbô with the technique and the larger cultural implications of the stereoscope in mind.

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November 21st, 2014

Rob van Gerwen | Lezen doe je niet met je lichaam: Wat is literaire pornografie?

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

Pornography presents the viewer with sexuality in a deliciously facile way and allows him to fantasise taking part in it. For the reader of pornographic literature there’s nothing to see, however. In this article I explore the conceptual possibility of ‘literary pornography,’ given the standard assumption that pornography necessarily involves image (and that this is absent in literature because it works with language) and a fantasy that the perceived really appears to the masturbator (although there is no sensory indication for this in reading).

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November 21st, 2014

Bart Smout | Het ontklede woord: Literatuur en erotiek volgens Georges Bataille

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

Literature and erotism seem to be two very different cases. Can a novel be literary and erotic at the very same time? And is there a literary quality that can be subscribed to erotism? In his essay “Het ontklede woord”, Bart Smout tries to answer these questions through the prism of the philosophy of Georges Bataille. In an evocative reading of Batailles novel Histoire de l’oeil, he demonstrates that the literary and the erotic are not neccesarily opposites, but can very well complement each other.

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November 21st, 2014

Anne Morey and Claudia Nelson | Phallus and Void in Kipling’s “The Vampire” and Its Progeny

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

On one level, Rudyard Kipling’s “The Vampire” (1897) and the works inspired by it, particularly Porter Emerson Browne’s “A Fool There Was” (1909) and its 1915 film adaptation, dramatize anxieties surrounding the woman’s superiority to male attempts at sexual domination. Freud’s contemporaneous theories on fetishism provide insight into the imagery of female void and male depletion central to these texts; poem, novel, and film all emphasize symbolic castration. As phallic woman, the vamp wreaks her revenge through actual or parodic maternity, giving men the option either of death through detumescence or survival by being turned into ersatz mothers.

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November 21st, 2014

Bette Talvacchia | Bronzino’s Del pennello and the Pleasures of Art

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

Agnolo Bronzino was a Florentine artist in the sphere of the Medici court who was also an accomplished and recognized poet. His most appreciated poems were in the genres of parody and burlesque humor that often employed sexual puns and metaphors as expressive means. This article focuses on Bronzino’s poem Del pennello, a hymn of praise for the artist’s paintbrush, which through a pun on the term pennello, can be understood also to refer to the male sexual organ. The author’s reading explores the meaning of the imagery and its relation to contemporary works of art. It also considers the poem’s teasing subversion of concepts of artistic creation that underlay developing theories of art in the later Renaissance period.

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November 21st, 2014

Frank Brandsma | Verlangen als verhaalmotor: lust, list en liefde in de middeleeuwse literatuur

24.2 Literatuur en Erotiek

Abstract

The sin of lust proves to be a powerful story engine in medieval romance and other genres. King Uther’s lust allows Merlin to manipulate him into fathering Arthur; a devil sleeps with Merlin’s pious mother and Lancelot’s desire for the queen makes it possible to deceive him: he sleeps with King Pelles’s daughter and Galahad is conceived. Adultery and sex are also used to comic effect, especially in fabliaux and the works of Boccaccio and Chaucer, where shrewd women manage to get away with deceiving their stupid elderly husbands.

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November 21st, 2014