Why did France spawn the radical poststructuralist rejection of the humanist concept of 'man' as a rational, knowing subject? In this innovative cultural history, Carolyn J. Dean sheds light on the origins of poststructuralist thought, paying particular attention to the reinterpretation of the self by Jacques Lacan, Georges Bataille, and other French thinkers. Arguing that the widely shared belief that the boundaries between self and other had disappeared during the Great War helps explain the genesis of the new concept of the self, Dean examines an array of evidence from medical texts and literary works alike. The Self and Its Pleasures offers a pathbreaking understanding of the boundaries between theory and history.
Cornell University Press; November 2016
- ISBN: 9781501705403
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: The Self and Its Pleasures
- Author: Carolyn J. Dean
Imprint: Cornell University Press
In The Press
"Carolyn J. Dean's book is an intelligent, well-researched, and thought-provoking study of an important problem in modern cultural and intellectual history. Focusing on the difficult work of Jacques Lacan and Georges Bataille, Dean furnishes a critical history of the decentered subject in early twentieth-century France—a history that has broader implications given the widespread influence of modern French thought."