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The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire

The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire (Hardback)

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Synopsis

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 specific.

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).

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