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Pleasures Taken: Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs

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Pleasures Taken: Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An intimate look into three Victorian photo-settings, Pleasures Taken considers questions of loss and sexuality as they are raised by some of the most compelling and often misrepresented photographs of the era: Lewis Carrollandrsquo;s photographs of young girls; Julia Margaret Cameronandrsquo;s photographs of Madonnas; and the photographs of Hannah Cullwick, a andquot;maid of all work,andquot; who had herself pictured in a range of masquerades, from a blackened chimney sweep to a bare-chested Magdalene. Reading these settings performatively, Carol Mavor shifts the focus toward the subjectivity of these girls and women, and toward herself as a writer.

Mavorandrsquo;s original approach to these photographs emphatically sees sexuality where it has been previously rendered invisible. She insists that the sexuality of the girls in Carrollandrsquo;s pictures is not only present, but deserves recognition, respect, and scrutiny. Similarly, she sees in Cameronandrsquo;s photographs of sensual Madonnas surprising visions of motherhood that outstrip both Victorian and contemporary understandings of the maternal as untouchable and inviolate, without sexuality. Finally she shows how Hannah Cullwick, posing in various masquerades for her secret paramour, emerges as a subject with desires rather than simply a victim of her upper-class partner. Even when confronting the darker areas of these photographs, Mavor perseveres in her insistence on the pleasures takenandmdash;by the viewer, the photographer, and often by the model herselfandmdash;in the act of imagining these sexualities. Inspired by Roland Barthes, and drawing on other theorists such as Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray, Mavor creates a text that is at once interdisciplinary, personal, and profoundly pleasurable.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [159]-165) and index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780822316190
Author:
Mavor, Carol
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Author:
Mavor, Jr.
Location:
Durham :
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
History
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
Sex
Subject:
England
Subject:
Sex role
Subject:
Photography of women
Subject:
Photography, erotic
Subject:
Sex in art
Subject:
England Social life and customs 19th century.
Subject:
Photography of women -- England -- History -- 19th century.
Subject:
England Social life and customs.
Subject:
Psychology : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
84-08
Publication Date:
19950531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
49 photographs, includes 16 duotones
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9.27x6.13x.65 in. .81 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Anthologies and History
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Theory and Criticism
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General

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