Towards the Paradoxical Perverse and the Perverse Dynamic

Jonathan Dollimore

in Sexual Dissidence

Published in print August 1991 | ISBN: 9780198112259
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670732 | DOI:
Towards the Paradoxical Perverse and the Perverse Dynamic

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This chapter shows how the pre-sexual history of the concept inheres in modern beliefs about sexual perversion, and with the objective of replacing the pathological concept with a political one. Perversion was (and remains) a concept bound up with insurrection. More generally, and in the light of that history, this chapter wants to recover perversion as not only a culturally central phenomenon, but a category from which two concepts emerge that are crucial for insurrectionary critique: the perverse dynamic and transgressive reinscription. It is the sexual sense of the word that predominates now and, before recovering the history of the concept, the chapter considers two important but opposed accounts of sexual perversion, those of Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault respectively. Opposed as they are, both nevertheless identify perversion as culturally central.

Keywords: perversion; insurrection; perverse dynamic; transgressive reinscription; Sigmund Freud; Michel Foucault

Chapter.  12147 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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