Catalogue


Imperial masochism : British fiction, fantasy, and social class /
John Kucich.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2007.
description
x, 258 p.
ISBN
0691127123 (hardcover : acid-free paper), 9780691127125 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2007.
isbn
0691127123 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
9780691127125 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
catalogue key
6071992
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"If John Kucich's other books and articles have not already established him as one of today's leading and most interesting authorities on Victorian literature and culture (and I think they have), then Imperial Masochism certainly will do so. This is a sophisticated and well-written study."--Patrick Brantlinger, Indiana University " Imperial Masochism is at once a powerfully analytic and integrative book, clinically anatomizing the generative psychosocial dynamics of masochism while demonstrating through a wealth of interpretive illustration their pervasive influence on late-Victorian literature. It is sure to provoke welcome controversy among literary critics and scholars of class and empire."--Andrew H. Miller, Indiana University
Flap Copy
"If John Kucich's other books and articles have not already established him as one of today's leading and most interesting authorities on Victorian literature and culture (and I think they have), then Imperial Masochism certainly will do so. This is a sophisticated and well-written study."-- Patrick Brantlinger, Indiana University " Imperial Masochism is at once a powerfully analytic and integrative book, clinically anatomizing the generative psychosocial dynamics of masochism while demonstrating through a wealth of interpretive illustration their pervasive influence on late-Victorian literature. It is sure to provoke welcome controversy among literary critics and scholars of class and empire."-- Andrew H. Miller, Indiana University
Flap Copy
"If John Kucich's other books and articles have not already established him as one of today's leading and most interesting authorities on Victorian literature and culture (and I think they have), then "Imperial Masochism" certainly will do so. This is a sophisticated and well-written study."--Patrick Brantlinger, Indiana University""Imperial Masochism" is at once a powerfully analytic and integrative book, clinically anatomizing the generative psychosocial dynamics of masochism while demonstrating through a wealth of interpretive illustration their pervasive influence on late-Victorian literature. It is sure to provoke welcome controversy among literary critics and scholars of class and empire."--Andrew H. Miller, Indiana University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-07-01:
In this elegant study, Kucich (Rutgers Univ.) demonstrates the possibility of mutually implicating psychoanalytic theories, literary texts, and colonial discourses of race and class without losing sight of the specificity of each of these areas. In addition, he offers up a theoretically supple account of how masochistic fantasy can serve as a "switching point" between otherwise disparate codes of thought and speech. Kucich makes three particular contributions: he shows how relational theories of masochism can be productive as a supplement to, or substitute for, Freudian ones; he reintroduces a more meticulous analysis of class into discussions of racial and sexual fantasy; and he offers illuminating readings of Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Joseph Conrad that clarify the stakes of current arguments over empire and over masochism. The chapter on Kipling, sadomasochism, and "the magical group" is particularly welcome, as it moves beyond facile oppositions (racist or precursor to postcolonial hybridity) and defenses (universally beloved man of the people!) that can structure responses to his work. This is one of the best recent books on literature, empire, and fantasy this reviewer has encountered. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. B. Jones Central Connecticut State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Imperial Masochismis at once a powerfully analytic and integrative book, clinically anatomizing the generative psychosocial dynamics of masochism while demonstrating through a wealth of interpretive illustration their pervasive influence on late-Victorian literature. It is sure to provoke welcome controversy among literary critics and scholars of class and empire.
If John Kucich's other books and articles have not already established him as one of today's leading and most interesting authorities on Victorian literature and culture (and I think they have), thenImperial Masochismcertainly will do so. This is a sophisticated and well-written study.
In this elegant study, Kucich demonstrates the possibility of mutually implicating psychoanalytic theories, literary texts, and colonial discourses of race and class without losing sight of the specificity of each of these areas. In addition, he offers up a theoretically supple account of how masochistic fantasy can serve as a 'switching point' between otherwise disparate codes of thought and speech . . . [H]e shows how relational theories of masochism can be productive as a supplement to, or substitute for, Freudian ones; he reintroduces a more meticulous analysis of class into discussions of racial and sexual fantasy; and he offers illuminating readings of Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Joseph Conrad that clarify the stakes of current arguments over empire and over masochism. . . . This is one of the best recent books on literature, empire, and fantasy this reviewer has encountered.
In this elegant study, Kucich demonstrates the possibility of mutually implicating psychoanalytic theories, literary texts, and colonial discourses of race and class without losing sight of the specificity of each of these areas. In addition, he offers up a theoretically supple account of how masochistic fantasy can serve as a 'switching point' between otherwise disparate codes of thought and speech . . . [H]e shows how relational theories of masochism can be productive as a supplement to, or substitute for, Freudian ones; he reintroduces a more meticulous analysis of class into discussions of racial and sexual fantasy; and he offers illuminating readings of Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Joseph Conrad that clarify the stakes of current arguments over empire and over masochism. . . . This is one of the best recent books on literature, empire, and fantasy this reviewer has encountered. -- B. Jones, Central Connecticut State University, for "Choice
In his thought-provoking new book, John Kucich burnishes his reputation as one of the best critics we currently have bringing the insights of psychoanalysis to the interpretation of cultural history. . . . Imperial Masochism is an important intervention in colonial discourse studies. -- Dan Bivona, Modern Philology
In his thought-provoking new book, John Kucich burnishes his reputation as one of the best critics we currently have bringing the insights of psychoanalysis to the interpretation of cultural history. . . .Imperial Masochismis an important intervention in colonial discourse studies. -- Dan Bivona, Modern Philology
"In his thought-provoking new book, John Kucich burnishes his reputation as one of the best critics we currently have bringing the insights of psychoanalysis to the interpretation of cultural history. . . . Imperial Masochism is an important intervention in colonial discourse studies."-- Dan Bivona, Modern Philology
In his thought-provoking new book, John Kucich burnishes his reputation as one of the best critics we currently have bringing the insights of psychoanalysis to the interpretation of cultural history. . . . Imperial Masochism is an important intervention in colonial discourse studies.
In compelling case studies, Kucich analyses this rewriting and suggests convincingly the value of psychoanalysis to historicist literary criticism. -- Mary Elizabeth Leighton, Nineteenth-Century Contexts
"In compelling case studies, Kucich analyses this rewriting and suggests convincingly the value of psychoanalysis to historicist literary criticism."-- Mary Elizabeth Leighton, Nineteenth-Century Contexts
Imperial Masochism[is] an important read for scholars who are open to stepping out of the established boundaries in order to tread new paths of inquiry. -- Monica Ingber, In-Spire, Journal of Law, Politics and Societies
In compelling case studies, Kucich analyses this rewriting and suggests convincingly the value of psychoanalysis to historicist literary criticism.
Imperial Masochism [is] an important read for scholars who are open to stepping out of the established boundaries in order to tread new paths of inquiry.
Imperial Masochism[is] an important read for scholars who are open to stepping out of the established boundaries in order to tread new paths of inquiry.
" Imperial Masochism [is] an important read for scholars who are open to stepping out of the established boundaries in order to tread new paths of inquiry."-- Monica Ingber, In-Spire, Journal of Law, Politics and Societies
Imperial Masochism [is] an important read for scholars who are open to stepping out of the established boundaries in order to tread new paths of inquiry. -- Monica Ingber, In-Spire, Journal of Law, Politics and Societies
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2008
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Summaries
Main Description
British imperialism's favorite literary narrative might seem to be conquest. But real British conquests also generated a surprising cultural obsession with suffering, sacrifice, defeat, and melancholia. "There was," writes John Kucich, "seemingly a different crucifixion scene marking the historical gateway to each colonial theater." In Imperial Masochism , Kucich reveals the central role masochistic forms of voluntary suffering played in late-nineteenth-century British thinking about imperial politics and class identity. Placing the colonial writers Robert Louis Stevenson, Olive Schreiner, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad in their cultural context, Kucich shows how the ideological and psychological dynamics of empire, particularly its reorganization of class identities at the colonial periphery, depended on figurations of masochism. Drawing on recent psychoanalytic theory to define masochism in terms of narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence rather than sexual perversion, the book illuminates how masochism mediates political thought of many different kinds, not simply those that represent the social order as an opposition of mastery and submission, or an eroticized drama of power differentials. Masochism was a powerful psychosocial language that enabled colonial writers to articulate judgments about imperialism and class. The first full-length study of masochism in British colonial fiction, Imperial Masochism puts forth new readings of this literature and shows the continued relevance of psychoanalysis to historicist studies of literature and culture.
Main Description
British imperialism's favorite literary narrative might seem to be conquest. But real British conquests also generated a surprising cultural obsession with suffering, sacrifice, defeat, and melancholia. "There was," writes John Kucich, "seemingly a different crucifixion scene marking the historical gateway to each colonial theater." InImperial Masochism, Kucich reveals the central role masochistic forms of voluntary suffering played in late-nineteenth-century British thinking about imperial politics and class identity. Placing the colonial writers Robert Louis Stevenson, Olive Schreiner, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad in their cultural context, Kucich shows how the ideological and psychological dynamics of empire, particularly its reorganization of class identities at the colonial periphery, depended on figurations of masochism. Drawing on recent psychoanalytic theory to define masochism in terms of narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence rather than sexual perversion, the book illuminates how masochism mediates political thought of many different kinds, not simply those that represent the social order as an opposition of mastery and submission, or an eroticized drama of power differentials. Masochism was a powerful psychosocial language that enabled colonial writers to articulate judgments about imperialism and class. The first full-length study of masochism in British colonial fiction,Imperial Masochismputs forth new readings of this literature and shows the continued relevance of psychoanalysis to historicist studies of literature and culture.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Revealing the central role masochistic forms of voluntary suffering played in late 19th century British thinking about imperial politics and class identity, this book presents a study of masochism in British colonial fiction and shows the continued relevance of psychoanalysis to historicist studies of literature and culture.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
A Note on Textsp. xi
Introduction: Fantasy and Ideologyp. 1
Masochism in Contextp. 4
What Is Masochistic Fantasy?p. 17
Multiple Masochismsp. 28
Melancholy Magic: Robert Louis Stevenson's Evangelical Anti-Imperialismp. 31
Masochistic Splitting in the Scottish Novelsp. 36
Evangelicalism: Pain Is Powerp. 47
Rewriting Social Class at the Periphery: South Seas Talesp. 59
Racial Projectionsp. 72
Anti-Imperialist Euphoria in the Samoan Civil Warp. 76
The Reversibility of Masochistic Politicsp. 84
Olive Schreiner's Preoedipal Dreams: Feminism, Class, and the South African Warp. 86
The Clash of Pleasure Economies in The Story of an African Farmp. 90
New Woman Feminismp. 96
The Regeneration of Middle-Class Culturep. 107
Fantasizing about the Boersp. 113
Domestic Middle-Class Identity and the War over the Warp. 124
Feminist Masochism, Class Regeneration, and Critical Disavowalp. 129
Sadomasochism and the Magical Group: Kipling's Middle-Class Imperialismp. 136
Sadomasochism, Bullying, and Omnipotence in Stalky & Co.p. 140
Magical Groups: Bullies, Victims, and Bystandersp. 151
Kim: The Magical Group as Imperial Agentp. 160
Magical Professionals in the Short Fictionp. 168
Evangelicalism and Middle-Class Unilateralismp. 182
Class Hostility, Classlessness, and the Magical Middle Classp. 188
The Masochism of the Craft: Conrad's Imperial Professionalismp. 196
Varieties of Colonial Omnipotencep. 200
"In the Destructive Element Immerse"p. 210
Empathy as a Narcissistic Disorderp. 216
Class Magic and Class Melancholiap. 223
Professional Redemptionp. 235
Masochistic Imperialismp. 244
Conclusionp. 247
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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