Download Fair Sex, Savage Dreams: Race, Psychoanalysis, Sexual by Jean Walton PDF

By Jean Walton

In Fair intercourse, Savage Dreams Jean Walton examines the paintings of early feminist psychoanalytic writing to decipher in it the unacknowledged but foundational function of race. targeting the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties, a time whilst white girls have been actively refashioning Freud’s troublesome debts of sexual subjectivity, Walton rereads specifically the writing of British analysts Joan Riviere and Melanie Klein, modernist poet H.D., the eccentric French analyst Marie Bonaparte, and anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Charting the fantasies of racial distinction in those women’s writings, Walton establishes that race—particularly in this period—was inseparable from money owed of gender and sexuality. whereas arguing that those girls remained significantly oblivious to the racial meanings embedded of their personal makes an attempt to rearticulate female sexuality, Walton makes use of those very blindspots to appreciate how race and intercourse are deeply imbricated within the structure of subjectivity. tough the thought that topics collect gender identities in isolation from racial ones, she therefore demonstrates how white-centered psychoanalytic theories have shaped the root for extra modern feminist and queer explorations of myth, hope, energy, and subjectivity.
Fair intercourse, Savage Dreams will attract students of psychoanalysis, literary and cinematic modernism, race experiences, queer concept, feminist conception, and anthropology.

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Extra info for Fair Sex, Savage Dreams: Race, Psychoanalysis, Sexual Difference

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The desire to bite o√ the nipple shifts, and desires to destroy, penetrate and disembowel the mother and devour her and the contents of her body succeed it. These contents include the father’s penis, her faeces and her children. (Riviere, 41) Riviere is drawing directly from Melanie Klein, whose 1929 discussion of reparation I will consider at length later in this chapter. Klein theorizes that the most profound anxiety experienced by girls ‘‘is the equivalent of castration-anxiety in boys. ∞∑ For each analyst (Klein, Riviere, and Fanon), however, the way in which the woman will mitigate the anxiety produced by this fantasy is theorized di√erently; in all three cases, racial di√erence becomes an element in the analysis, but only in Fanon’s text is it explicitly acknowledged.

Though it is valuable for its critique of the libido-as-black, Fanon’s analysis of the cross-racial rape fantasy nevertheless functions to reify the myth of femininity as masochism; the fantasy can only be understood as a vehicle for women to express their own self-destructive impulses, and no interrogation is made of the means by which the female (maternal) body must be constructed as a phobogenic object. In Riviere, the fantasy serves to reify the myth of the black man as wielder of a threatening phallus; he can only be conceptualized as a father figure, so that both a significant aspect of his commonality with the white woman, as well as the specificity of his di√erence from her, are necessarily elided.

As Pete (Paul Robeson) reconciles with Adah (Eslanda Robeson) in a series of outdoor scenes, Astrid, played by H. D. herself (using the screen pseudonym Helga Doorn), and Thorne (Gavin Arthur) quarrel until Astrid is accidently stabbed to death. The drama between the two couples is intercut with, and sometimes enters into, scenes from the public space of the hotel’s restaurant, which is presided over by what seems to be a lesbian couple, played by a butch-looking, cigar-smoking Bryher as the cafe manFair Sex, Savage Dreams • 42 ageress and a femme-styled Charlotte Arthur as the barmaid.

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