The Practice of Love

The Practice of Love : Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire

3.68 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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In an eccentric reading of Freud through Laplanche and the Lacanian and feminist revisions, Teresa de Lauretis delineates a model of "perverse" desire and a theory of lesbian sexuality as represented in Radclyffe Hall's novel "The Well of Loneliness", Cherr'e Moraga's play "Giving Up the Ghost", and Sheila McLaughlin's film "She Must Be Seeing Things", among other texts. "The Practice of Love" discusses classic psychoanalytic narratives of female homosexuality, contemporary feminist writings on female sexuality, and the evolution of the original fantasies (the primal scene, seduction, and castration) into cultural myths or public fantasies. Finally, in asking how the social subject is produced as a sexual subject, the author brings together Freud, Peirce, and Foucault, arguing that subjectivity, fantasy, desire, and the drives themselves are oriented, structured, and restructured by psychic and social images, and by practices of sex as well as practices of representation, which are culturally available and historically more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 27.9mm | 567g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253208785
  • 9780253208781
  • 693,336

About Teresa De Lauretis

Teresa de Lauretis is Professor of the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Alice Doesn't: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema and Technologies of Gender and the editor of Feminist Studies/Critical Studies and of Queer Theory: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities (a special issue of the journal differences).show more

Table of contents

Part one: Psychoanalysis and lesbian sexuality1. Freud, Sexuality, and Perversion; 2. Female Homosexuality RevisitedPart two: Original fantasies, scenarios of desire3. Recasting the Primal Scene: Film and Lesbian Representation; 4. The Seductions of Lesbianism: Feminist Psychoanalytic Theory and the Maternal Imaginary; 5. The Lure of the Mannish Lesbian: The Fantasy of Castration and the Signification of DesirePart three: Toward a theory of lesbian sexuality6. Perverse Desire; 7. Sexual Structuring and Habit Changesshow more

Review quote

" ... a work that builds a substantial bridge between Freudian psychoanalysis and radical feminist thought, particularly on the subject of lesbianism... Presenting a complex argument about an issue vital to the psychoanalytic endeavor as well as to feminist theory, The Practice of Love should stimulate a reconsideration of 'perversion' and the construction of sexual fantasy. The illumination of the fantasies that make lesbian desire distinctive will necessarily open up our understanding of all sexuality." Jessica Benjamin, New York Times Book Review "Teresa de Lauretis has entwined three books into one: a critical history of psychoanalytic theories of female homosexuality; a bold study of how lesbians keep disappearing from popular culture, especially film; and an original speculation on the dynamics of lesbian desire." Elisabeth Young-Bruehl "An important and original contribution not only to lesbian and gay studies, but also to psychoanalytic theory and film criticism. De Lauretis brings a unique and valuable perspective to issues of great importance today in all these areas." Leo Bersani "De Lauretis's influential theory gets top marks from sapphic scholars who know best." Outshow more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 37% (7)
3 37% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 5% (1)
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