Sexuality and the Erotic in the Fiction of Joseph Conrad
Awarded third place for The Adam Gillon Book Award in Conrad Studies 2009
The book presents a sustained critique of the interlinked (and contradictory) views that the fiction of Joseph Conrad is largely innocent of any interest in or concern with sexuality and the erotic, and that when Conrad does attempt to depict sexual desire or erotic excitement then this results in bad writing. Jeremy Hawthorn argues for a revision of the view that Conrad lacks understanding of and interest in sexuality. He argues that the comprehensiveness of Conrad's vision does not exclude a concern with the sexual and the erotic, and that this concern is not with the sexual and the erotic as separate spheres of human life, but as elements dialectically related to those matters public and political that have always been recognized as central to Conrad's fictional achievement. The book will open Conrad's fiction to readings enriched by the insights of critics and theorists associated with Gender Studies and Post-colonialism.
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And while the emergence of the knowing reading of “Il Conde' has not led to the
same sort of divide among critics as have Freudian and neoFreudian readings of
The Turn of the Screw, it has had two signal effects. The first of these is that it ...
Once the “knowing reading is made public (James's governess does not see
ghosts, they are the product of her sexual ... But while one of the most influential “
knowing readings of James's tale – Harold C. Goddard's “A Pre-Freudian
But this 'knowing Conrad is not the Conrad who was familiar to readers for most
of the twentieth century. ... above is one that I have already suggested: the
knowing reading of 'Il Conde' took so long to be publicly formulated because the
once he or she is prompted to reread the story from a more knowing and 'wary'
perspective. As with a detective story, all sorts of details that seemed
unremarkable on a first (innocent) reading assume a new significance when the
story is ...
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2 The exotic and the erotic in An Outcast of the Islands and Heart of Darkness
3 The erotics of cruelty in A Smile of Fortune The Planter of Malata The Secret Agent Victory and Freya of the Seven Isles ...
4 Voyeurism in The ShadowLine and Under Western Eyes