‘Gaze and Voice as Love Objects’

Published September 19th 1996 by Duke University Press Books

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The gaze entices, inspects, fascinates. The voice hypnotizes, seduces, disarms. Are gaze and voice part of the relationship we call love… or hate? If so, what part? How do they function? This provocative book examines love as the mediating entity in the essential antagonism between the sexes, and gaze and voice as love’s medium. The contributors proceed from the Lacanian premise that “there is no sexual relationship, ” that the sexes are in no way complementary and that love—figured in the gaze and the voice —embodies the promise and impossibility of any relation between them.

The first detailed Lacanian elaboration of this topic, ‘Gaze and Voice as Love Objects’ examines the status of gaze, voice, and love in philosophy from Plato to Kant, in ideology from early Christianity to contemporary cynicism, in music from Hildegard of Bingen to Richard Wagner, in literature from Edith Wharton’s ‘Age of Innocence’ to Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘The Remains of the Day’, and in cinema from Michael Powell’s ‘Peeping Tom to Kieslowski’s ‘A Short Film on Love’. Throughout, the contributors seek to show that the conflict between the sexes is the site of a larger battle over the destiny of modernity. With insights into the underlying target of racist and sexist violence, this book offers surprising revelations into the nature of an ancient enigma—love.

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