Encounters of Ecstasy

Patricia MacCormack

in Deleuze and Sex

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748642618
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671755 | DOI:
Encounters of Ecstasy

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‘How’, this chapter asks, ‘can we think a sexuality which is larval potentiality, non-volitional or authorised by self or regimes of signification, which has no before and after but is always and infinite, and which is loss of self without nihilism, an imperceptible sexuality?’ Weighing masochism against ecstasy, MacCormack shows that while the more frequently noted subject of masochism in Deleuze's philosophy has limitations with regard to becoming-imperceptible, the underexplored theme of ecstasy harbours a great potential for escaping signification. If masochism in Deleuze emerges through a web of temporal and contractual conditions, ecstasy is outside time. It introduces the unexpected and the unknown, it is an intensity that cannot under any circumstances be reduced to subjectivity and signification. If masochism is human, ecstasy is non-human. Paying attention to mysticism, the demonic and the angelical, and focusing particularly on the ecstatic experiences of Saint Teresa of Avila, MacCormack explores the functions of pain, flesh and the body in making unnatural connections and becomings.

Keywords: Ecstasy; Masochism; Demonic; Nonhuman

Chapter.  7769 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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