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Masochism and Decadent literature: Jean Lorrain and Joséphin Péladan

Sato, Kanshi Hiroko (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study explores the masochistic aspects of Decadent literature, which to date have been relatively neglected, or have received only sporadic attention as merely the passive forms of sadism, or sadomasochism (Mario Praz). As Jennifer Birkett suggests, Decadent sensibility and sexuality have arguably less affinity with Sade than Sacher-Masoch. Following Birkett, and utilising Gilles Deleuze’s idea of the independence of masochism from sadism and description of the distinctive aesthetic features of masochistic texts, I investigate masochistic formations in French Decadent texts; the work of Jean Lorrain and of Joséphin Péladan. This study also involves a review of relevant writings by Freud and post-Freudian psychoanalysts (Leo Bersani and Kaja Silverman); an engagement with current literary-critical scholarship in Decadence (Emily Apter, Charles Bernheimer, Bram Dijkstra and Rita Felski), and in Sacher-Masoch (Nick Mansfield, John K. Noyes, and Anita Phillips), and his influence on Decadent writers.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Birkett, Jennifer
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of French Studies
Subjects:PQ Romance literatures
PN0441 Literary History
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:1219
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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