Intimate Violence

Intimate Violence

Reading Rape and Torture in Twentieth-Century Fiction
Tanner, Laura E.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/22/1994
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-35648-2
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Tanner deals with the central question of all narrative texts: how the reader is manipulated into empathy or distance by the text.... This study... is the sort that needs to be redone in every classroom and by every mature reader.... Tanner offers provocative and useful discussions of rape and torture... " —Choice

This thoughtful and disturbing book raises serious questions about ‘the consequences... of reading representations of rape and torture.’ " —American Literature

In this incisive exploration of twentieth-century novels, art, and ads, Laura Tanner explains the mechanisms by which reader and viewer are implicated in violence. Equally effective as a challenge to textual assault is the grace and gentleness of Tanner’s own prose. Intimate Violence signals the emergence of an astute and humane critical voice." —Wendy Steiner

Through an examination of such notorious works as The White Hotel and American Psycho, Laura Tanner leads us in a disturbing exploration of the reader’s complicity with fictional depictions of intimate violence.

Author Bio

LAURA E. TANNER is Assistant Professor of English at Boston College.

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Table of Contents




1. Reading Rape
Sanctuary and the Women of Brewster Place

2. Reading Torture
1984 and Amnesty International

3. Sweet Pain and Charred Bodies
Figuring Violence in The White Hotel

4. Envisioning Violence
Seeing/Selling the Body in Last Exit to Brooklyn

5. American Psycho and the American Psyche
Reading the Forbidden Text

6. "Known in the Brain and Known in the Flesh"
Gender, Race, and the Vulnerable Body in Tracks


Works Cited