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Love and Reading

An Essay in Applied Psychoanalysis

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Gerald J. Butler

Love and Reading discusses 18th and 19th Century English fiction, the aesthetics of Burke and Kant, and contemporary literary theory. It stresses that language should be referential and argues for a way of reading that would not provide narcissistic gratification: a way of reading that would enable us instead to see through «the huge and terrible deception,» as Tolstoy put it, that hides «both life and death.»
Contents: The Freudian and Classical Conception of Love - Print Eroticism - Beauty and the Rationalization of Pleasure in the 18th Century - Purity and Sensation in Victorian Fiction - Non-Representational Desire - Love and Reading.
Drawing on psychoanalysis in new ways, Love and Reading challenges prevailing theories of criticism and reading of fiction.