The Erotic Imagination

The Erotic Imagination : French Histories of Perversity

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Vernon Rosario's work argues that the contemporary notion of the "erotic" (connoting the sexual rather than the amorous) began to emerge in the late-18th century, and was especially influenced by popular and professional discourses about sexual health. He takes France from the mid-18th century to 1914 as a particularly important site in the emerging pathologization of sexual life. Rosario proceeds from the premise that medical thinking about sexuality and the perversions cannot be separated from contemporary literary treatments of the subject, and that the primary source of knowledge about sexuality for both was the confessional case more

Product details

  • Hardback | 254 pages
  • 162.56 x 261.62 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 7 line drawings, bibliography
  • 0195104838
  • 9780195104837

About Vernon A. Rosario

Vernon A. Rosario II is Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Department of the History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania. He is the coeditor of Solitary Pleasures: The Historical, Literary and Artistic Discourses of Auto-Eroticism and editor of Science and Homosexualitesshow more

Review quote

"Rosario's historical study of the erotic imagination in France illuminates brilliantly the crucial role that sexual confessions have played in first identifying eroticism and then linking it decisively to perverse sexuality. In their respective ways, as he wittily demonstrates, both medical experts and their patients have channeled into eroticism the anxieties and obsessions of modern society."--Robert A. NyeDr. Rosario's fascinating study of the developments of society's concepts of perversity is especially enriched by his unusual background. His thorough knowledge of the history of science, and expertise in medicine are combined with an ability to analyze both literary and medical texts in an extremely subtle manner. his impressive command of the French literary tradition as well as recent theoretical frameworks gives him work authority and complexity. The writing throughout is illuminating, elegant, and richly satisfying."--Henry F. Majewski, Professor of French Studies, Emeritus, Brown Universityshow more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2)
4 25% (2)
3 50% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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