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

By Lawrence Kramer

This elegantly written ebook is a daring try to reinterpret the character of sexual violence and to visualize the potential for overcoming it. Lawrence Kramer strains brand new sexual identities to their nineteenth-century assets, drawing at the track, literature, and considered the interval to teach how general 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 common sense of goals. In formal and casual reflections, he explores the self-contradictions of masculinity, the moving alignments of femininity, authority, and hope, and the interdependency of heterosexual- and homosexuality. even as, he imagines possible choices which could let gender to be free of the present process of polarities that unavoidably advertise sexual violence.Kramer's writing avoids the normal costume of highbrow authority and strikes among track and literature in a method that's either intimate and powerful. He combines proficient scholarship with candid own utterance and makes transparent what's at stake during this an important debate. After the Lovedeath could have a profound impression on an individual attracted to new how one can take into consideration gender.

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46-47, 53-54, 57-67, 8 1, 85-90; all ellipses are Whitman's The sequence of scenes passes from focused heterosexuality to diffuse homosexuality and from confused lovemaking to a welter of solitary desperation, mutilation, and death. As the verses progress from the woman in love, through the denuded man at the pier, to the naked, vulnerable swimmer, there is a steady rise in eroticized cruelty and violence. ) The woman in bed, unobserved, suffers a rough and sweaty friction that leaves her bewildered and unsatisfied.

O to draw you to me, to plant on you for the first time the lips of a determined man. "One Hour to Madness and Joy" ll. 7-9 I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these states, I press with slow rude muscle, I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties, I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me. "A Woman Waits for Me" ll. 27- 29 Passages like these can seem clumsy and oddly conventional, as if Whitman felt masculine swagger as more of a duty than a pleasure.

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 symbolic dimension of such violence is sometimes evident in a certain precision and deliberateness that justifies the use of the word technique; Pozdnyshev notes that he aims at, and hits, a particular spot on his wife's torso that he has selected in advance.

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