Sun Feb 14 19:17:57 UTC 2010

This for what it's worth ...  When I tried to get more detail to supplement my vague memories, most of the stuff I tried to access was hidden behind the jstor pay-wall.

So the following is ultra-impressionistic, if it even connects with what Jon is pointing to at all.

The term "erotics of literature" (with "erotics" originally coined in an analogy to "poetics", I've always assumed)is relatively widespread among a certain kind of contempory literary critic, usually those with a French/Post-structuralist orientation working in the area of feminist or gay/queer studies.

It originated with Roland Barthes, I'd guess fairly late in his career, but possibly before the various English cites Jon gives.

This from google pointing to something that presumably gives more detail if you have access to jstor:

Two and Two Make More Than Four
D Kirby - College English, 1984 -
.... number of women, indifferent to a tradition of male authority, are at the forefront of current develop-
ments in both criticism and writing.) Finally, both promote what the father of post-structuralism
called an erotics of literature. Meaning be damned, said Roland Barthes in his later ...

Obviously whatever term Barthes used, and whenever he used it, it would be in French, and predate the English version.  Just when Barthes became central to a certain branch of English LitCrit, I'm not sure, but I'd certainly come across him in the middle sixties, so I'd guess at least from the mid-seventies or earlier, anything he said in French would rapidly be translated, transformed, or transferred into English.


[Caveat and Declaration of (Un)Interest.

The only books by Barthes I have any time for at all are _Writing Degree Zero_ and _Elements of Semiology_ -- as he gets on, and the further away he gets from de Saussure, the less I can be bothered with him, and I blame him for much of the crap which ...  Well, we all have our little biases.

So I don't know very much in this area, and what I do know is heavily coloured by an antagonistic prejudice rising at times to unbridled venom and fury.


--- On Sat, 13/2/10, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: erotics

> Date: Saturday, 13 February, 2010, 17:54
> ---------------------- Information
> from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter
> <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      erotics
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A description or analysis of _eros_ , eroticism, or an
> erotic element;
> (also) a social, psychological, metaphysical, or other
> process involving
> such concepts.
> 1975-76 Christine Downing in _Jour. of the Amer. Acad. of
> Religion_ XLIV
> (Dec.) 629: Towards an Erotics of the Psyche....Because
> Eros is the god of
> transformative love, there is not only an erotics of the
> psyche but a
> psychotics of eros. _Ibid_. 638: [T]he human other...[is]
> the dimension that
> distinguishes an erotics of the psyche from a poetics or an
> aesthetics.
> 1983 John Rouse in _College English_ XLV (Oct., 1983) 535:
> An Erotics of
> Teaching.....Surely there is a seductive elemnt in the
> realtions we have
> with our students.
> 1993 Eric White in _Science Fiction Studies_ XX (Nov.) 394:
> The Erotics of
> Becoming: Xenogenesis and _The Thing_. Ibid. 407: From an
> "erotics of being"
> transpiring under the rubric of the "human" that abominates
> the body and
> materiality in general, XENOGENESIS arrives at an "erotics
> of becoming" that
> proposes the self-similar mutations of a subject-in-process
> as a way to
> reconcile the need for psychological structure with the
> possibility of
> embracing the flux of matter in motion.
> 2004 Purnima Mankekar & Louisa Schein in _Jour. of
> Asian Studies_ LXIII
> (May) 357: Introduction: Mediated Transnationalism and
> Social Erotics.
> _Ibid._ 358: [T]transnational erotics remixes sex and
> space, refashioning
> the most intimate of interiorities.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't
> handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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