Beyond Sexuality

By Tim Dean,

Book cover of Beyond Sexuality

Book description

Combining psychoanalytic emphasis on the unconscious with a respect for the historical variability of sexual identities, this work of queer theory makes the case for vewing erotic desire as fundamentally impersonal. Dean develops a reading of Jacques Lacan that - rather than straightening out this notoriously difficult French psychoanalyst -…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Beyond Sexuality as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Beyond Sexuality is the most consequential psychoanalytic intervention in queer theory.

Much of queer theory has used Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality to reject or downplay psychoanalysis. Dean argues that psychoanalysis, particularly in the writings and seminars of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, offers a far more useful theoretical model.

Such theorists as Judith Butler misconstrue sexual desire by focusing on identity, rather than language and its effects. Desire, according to psychoanalysis, does not arise from our identifications—not even our gender identifications—but from the failures of identity. Desire is not constructed in language but manifests precisely where language breaks down.


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