By John Kucich
British imperialism's favourite literary narrative might sound to be conquest. yet genuine British conquests additionally generated a stunning cultural obsession with discomfort, sacrifice, defeat, and melancholia. "There was," writes John Kucich, "seemingly a special crucifixion scene marking the historic gateway to every colonial theater." In Imperial Masochism, Kucich finds the vital function masochistic different types of voluntary agony performed in late-nineteenth-century British brooding about imperial politics and sophistication identification. putting the colonial writers Robert Louis Stevenson, Olive Schreiner, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad of their cultural context, Kucich indicates how the ideological and mental dynamics of empire, quite its reorganization of sophistication identities on the colonial outer edge, relied on figurations of masochism. Drawing on fresh psychoanalytic conception to outline masochism when it comes to narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence instead of sexual perversion, the e-book illuminates how masochism mediates political considered many alternative types, no longer easily those who symbolize the social order as an competition of mastery and submission, or an eroticized drama of energy differentials. Masochism used to be a robust psychosocial language that enabled colonial writers to articulate judgments approximately imperialism and sophistication. the 1st full-length learn of masochism in British colonial fiction, Imperial Masochism places forth new readings of this literature and indicates the continuing relevance of psychoanalysis to historicist stories of literature and tradition.
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Additional resources for Imperial Masochism: British Fiction, Fantasy, and Social Class
It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in the ﬂesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me. —GALATIANS 2:19–20 OBERT Louis Stevenson is an exemplary ﬁgure with which to begin a cultural analysis of masochism. Masochistic plots and themes abound in his ﬁction, whether in the stylized, ﬁn-de-sie`cle mode of “The Suicide Club” (1878) and The Dynamiter (1885), in popular works, such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
By mobilizing these kinds of masochistic fantasy, particular ideologies have acquired extraordinary affective power. The burden of subsequent chapters will be to demonstrate the crucial role of such fantasy at the intersections of imperial and class discourse. Relational theory, I repeat, cannot tell the whole story about masochism. As Jane Flax has pointed out, drive theory and relational theory often seem incomplete without each other. 63 These kinds of conﬂict between the two models should inform literary appropriations of either kind.
Gilles Deleuze’s inﬂuential Coldness and Cruelty (1971), for example, set the terms for many cultural critics by viewing masochism as an oedipal rebellion. In his analysis of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s novella, Venus in Furs (1870), Deleuze argued that the male masochist seeks to overthrow patriarchal authority in order to win the mother’s love, and that, 37 For the ﬁrst position, see Sigmund Freud, “Instincts and Their Vicissitudes,” SE, 14: 109–40; for the second, see Beyond the Pleasure Principle; or “The Economic Problem of Masochism,” SE, 19:157–70.