Eros in Mourning: From Homer to Lacan

Eros in Mourning: From Homer to Lacan

by Henry Staten


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Eros in Mourning begins with a reading of the Iliad that shows how Homer, not yet influenced by the ideology of transcendence, analyzes the structure of unassuageable mourning in a way that is as up-to-date as the latest poststructuralism. Then, in readings of Dante, Hamlet, La Princess de Clèves, Heart of Darkness, and Lacan, Staten depicts the "thanato-erotic" hysteria that is set off by the specter of the dead and decomposing body that is also the body of sexual love and which, in the "transcendentalizing" tradition, is more female than male. Yet, St. John, certain troubadours, and Milton offer glimpses of a more affirmative relation to "eros in mourning."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801869990
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 12/15/2001
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Henry Staten is a professor of English and comparative literature and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Washington. He is the author of Wittgenstein and Derrida and Nietzsche's Voice.

What People are Saying About This

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Eros in Mourning situates Jacques Lacan in the thanatoerotophobic tradition of misogyny. Luminous and erudite textual-historical analyses ofthe European tradition from Homer to Conrad perform the task. On this trajectory, Staten opens up Plato and Courtly Love, Hamlet and ParadiseLost, Dante and Madame de Lafayette in new ways. A compelling and brilliant book.

Slavoj Zizek

Each chapter is a tour de force of its own. The chapter on Christianity alone, with its extraordinary Nietzschean affirmation of the figure of Christ, tells more than a whole bag of the usual cultural studies! If you did not read this book, don't say you were not warned what you are missing!

Charles Altieri

Eros in Mourning is a brilliant, precisely, powerfully, and passionately argued analysis of the structure of mourning fundamental to Western transcendental thinking. Staten is a superb reader, engaging us in levels of his texts that make it clear why they earned canonical status.

Charles Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

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