The Practice of Love

The Practice of Love

Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire
Teresa de Lauretis
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/1/1994
Format: paper 0 pages
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-20878-1
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Description

“ . . . 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.” —Out

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. The Practice of Love discusses classic psychoanalytic narratives of female homosexuality, contemporary feminist writings on female sexuality, and the evolution of the original fantasies into cultural myths or public fantasies.

Author Bio

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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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION

PART ONE: PSYCHOANALYSIS AND LESBIAN SEXUALITY

1. Freud, Sexuality, and Perversion
2. Female Homosexuality Revisited

PART TWO: ORIGINAL FANTASIES, SCENARIOS OF DESIRE

3. 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 Desire

PART THREE: TOWARD A THEORY OF LESBIAN SEXUALITY

6. Perverse Desire
7. Sexual Structuring and Habit Changes

Works Cited
Films Cited
General Index
Index of Films Citied