- Favorite Books of 2018
- Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” | The New Yorker
- Diane Arbus’s America
Request removal from index. Revision history. This entry has no external links. Add one. Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Configure custom resolver. Ana Salzberg - - Cinema Patricia MacCormack - unknown. Travers - - Theory, Culture and Society 15 Passions and Actions: Deleuze's Cinematographic Cogito.
Richard Rushton - - Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 2 2 Kierkegaard, Seduction, and Existential Education. Scott F. Aikin - - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 2 Hanna Karolina Kubicka - - Film-Philosophy 19 1. Stening - - Journal of Business Ethics 85 4 - The Idea of Code in Contextualism and Minimalism.
Vertigo and the Spectator of Film Analysis. Andrew Klevan - - Film-Philosophy 18 1 What's in a Credo? Sterling - - Journal of Business Ethics 85 4 - Kalnicka - - Filozofia 59 7 Peilun Zhang - - Philosophy and Culture 27 11 The diaries are full of sexual adventure but also fascinating reflections on what sex means, and what the relationship is between sexual pleasure and the purpose of life.
I love that line, and I think it says a lot about the man. The other thing about Boswell is that he knew everyone who matters in 18th century England. Through his diaries you meet all these other fascinating people, and they are all described with great immediacy. With his confidence and libido, how unusual was Boswell for his times? Was he a member of an elite, literary class who enjoyed pushing the social boundaries, or was the manner in which he lived more common? But one of the themes of my book is the strong and increasing division of sexual morality by class and by gender.
Different standards are increasingly being applied to men and women of different classes in terms of what is considered OK and what is not. Onto your third book, which is one of the longest novels ever written in English. The plot is essentially very simple. The anti-hero is a libertine called Lovelace. Lovelace is the archetypal rake, a man who lives primarily to seduce women. He seduces women, humiliates them sexually, takes his pleasure and then abandons them. He sets his sights on Clarissa, who is initially attracted to him because — like all rakes — he is attractive, dangerous, witty and seductive.
So she gradually changes her view of him, pushes him away and tries to keep him at bay. He tricks her and traps her in London, far away from all her friends and relations. Because the author, Samuel Richardson, wants to show that even a woman who is raped in these horrible circumstances — and he portrays it in such a way that is heartbreaking — still transcends Lovelace by refusing to stoop to his level.
She takes to her bed and basically dies in order to maintain her moral integrity. On her death bed she forgives him, but of course he comes to a horrible end in the final pages, and gets his comeuppance.
Favorite Books of 2018
And it is particularly influential in cementing this new presumption that men are dangerous seducers and women are, at heart, morally superior and more chaste. Richardson did this under the influence of previous female writers, and lots of female admirers and friends who helped him in the writing and talked to him about these things from a female perspective. I say this with conviction because I never read it until I wrote my own book. I had known about it — it was a looming presence in the background — and I knew that if I was going to talk about courtship, seduction and sex, I would have to read it.
I bought it and I had it sitting on my desk.
But, in a wonderful lesson of the power of great fiction, I started dipping into it and was just hooked. In what is a great innovation of 18th century literature, it gives you the same story from the point of view of lots of different actors, through a series of letters between the major characters.
You see all the same episodes through the evil eyes of Lovelace but also through the eyes of his victim Clarissa Harlowe and all the ancillary characters. Let me talk about the author first, because she is absolutely fantastic. She was a fantastically successful actress, a writer and a poet, and also a famous lover. She had a string of affairs with very powerful men, most importantly the Prince of Wales himself, and she did it on her own terms.
She was not a call girl or a prostitute, but an independent, feisty and sexually free woman. This was the first period in history in which it was possible for someone like that to even exist. She made a career for herself across a variety of spheres. She is cast off by the Prince of Wales because he tires of her, but she kept all his love letters.
So she publicly threatened — quite a conventional thing at the time — to publish all his letters unless he treated her better. So she was one of the originators of the kiss-and-tell — or rather the kiss-and-not-tell — on rather a large scale. What is particularly fantastic is that she wrote so much and expressed her views so forthrightly.
I wanted to include this book to show the extraordinary degree to which early feminists of the 18th century were able to look clearly at the sexual mores of their time — and the double standard in particular whereby men were allowed to get away with so much more than women — and dissect them, talking about their unfairness and how they are socially constructed rather than natural. In her own life, she also epitomised both the opportunities and the limits of sexual freedom for women at this moment of the first sexual revolution.
She was able to lead this life, but it was not the same as a man like James Boswell, who gets away with it scot-free. Everyone has heard of Mary Wollstonecraft, but Mary Robinson writes about sex much more forthrightly and with much more humour that Mary Wollstonecraft ever did, and this tract A Letter to the Women of England is a great short pamphlet. It points out the unfairness of the social, political and sexual constraints that women were under, and it calls for them to be lifted. Another thing it does, which might come as a surprise to modern readers, is show how far back the origins of modern feminism really go.
Onto your final choice, which was only discovered five years ago and is the earliest published defence of homosexuality in English. It was originally published, advertised and available in bookshops but then when the authorities turned against it, it was suppressed so thoroughly that no printed copy had ever been found. But I found, in the archive of the Public Records Office a few years ago, the public indictment against Thomas Cannon for having written it — which happily transcribes the entire pamphlet to show why it was quite so dangerous and should be suppressed.
So we have it in manuscript. I wanted to include it because another theme of my book is the way in which the first sexual revolution is also a moment of great change, both good and bad, in terms of attitudes to same-sex behaviour. That lead to increasing persecution against what was supposedly unnatural, and most people said that sex between two men was unnatural.
The other point about the first sexual revolution is that people also started to argue for the toleration of homosexual behaviour in private, on exactly the same grounds on which they argued for heterosexual behaviour. Thomas Cannon is the bravest example of that. I think it will surprise most people that the first public defence of gay rights occurred so early.
You can trace from that everything that came afterwards, through the 19th century and Oscar Wilde down to [the] Stonewall [riots of in New York] and the arguments for same-sex relations that we now take for granted.
Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” | The New Yorker
Cleland and Cannon actually knew each other, and fell out over something quite obscure. I think it is a rather nice parallel that in the same year were published both this pioneering work on gay rights and perhaps the greatest celebration of heterosexual pleasure of the 18th century. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books or even just what you say about them please email us at editor fivebooks.
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Diane Arbus’s America
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