How does the male masochist provide a metaphor for modern and postmodern power? Through a study of the representations of masochism in literature, psychopathology, philosophy, and cultural theory, Mansfield challenges our fundamental assumptions about masculine power in the postmodern era, arguing that masculine power has become masochistic. In the later twentieth century, the author argues, power presents itself as powerlessness but this deconstruction of traditional masculine authority does not result in a diminution of power. This provocative account traces masochism through the writings of Krafft-Ebing, Sacher-Masoch, Freud, Sartre, Proust, Genet, and Foucault.
About the Author:
NICK MANSFIELD is Lecturer in English and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He has studied at the University of Sydney, Columbia University, and Yale University. His articles on literary and cultural studies have appeared in a number of international journals.