The erotic imagination : French histories of perversity


The erotic imagination : French histories of perversity

Vernon A. Rosario

(Ideologies of desire / series editor, David M. Halperin)

Oxford University Press, 1997

  • cloth

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 211-237) and index



Vernon Rosario's work argues that the contemporary notion of the "erotic" (connoting the sexual rather than the amorous) began to emerge in the late-18th century, and was especially influenced by popular and professional discourses about sexual health. He takes France from the mid-18th century to 1914 as a particularly important site in the emerging pathologization of sexual life. Rosario proceeds from the premise that medical thinking about sexuality and the perversions cannot be separated from contemporary literary treatments of the subject, and that the primary source of knowledge about sexuality for both was the confessional case study.

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