The Eroticism of Expulsion

Historically, erotic art (visual and textual) was produced primarily for men, by men.  Yes, there have been exceptions, but the ones that survive are rare. It was only in the 20th century, and mostly in the latter part, that women began to produce erotic fiction aimed at women. This has been portrayed as emancipatory and, Continue Reading

Lacan in Woolf: To the Lighthouse and the Beauty of Diegesis


It’s one of those famous literary works you’re supposed to have read, may have taken a run at, and then ran away screaming. Virginia Woolf’s ‘To The Lighthouse’ is cited as one of the great works of modernist writing of the 20th Century. I will unashamedly admit to having skimmed it 20 years ago and Continue Reading

There Were Bodies Everywhere: What Makes Texts Erotic?

from De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Decem (Venice, 1627) by Adriaan van de Spiegel

In his text, The Fiction of Relationship, Arnold Weinstein defines the erotic novel as “the text that focuses on the role of the body in culture; its peculiar needs, the uses to which it is and can be put.”   In my attempt to forge new eroticisms, it is necessary to step back and consider Continue Reading

Desire Desires Desire: Why Erotica and Porn are Different

This essay sets out to look at the ambivalence many women have to porn and why this has had an impact on reader expectations of erotica. The porn vs erotica war has been going on for years. It is often represented as a battle between the forces of repression and those of emancipation. I think Continue Reading

The Little Man Who Wasn’t There: Inverted Lacan

Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, I wish, I wish he’d go away… (from Antigonish, by Hugh Mearns) I’m still struggling with a way to interpret Lacan’s famous statement ‘la femme n’existe pas‘ (Seminar XX: Encore). This, of course, is the fun of Lacan, one Continue Reading

Writing in my part of the World

It occurs to me that I haven’t been a very good ambassador for fiction writing happening in my part of the world. One of the major hurdles with this is that a lot of Vietnamese writing translated into English is actually Viet Kieu writing (written by members of the Vietnamese diaspora).  The same is true Continue Reading

Writing At the Edge of the Real

No matter how often I revisit Lacan’s concept of The Real – its impossibility, its muteness – I always come back to Robert Graves’ poem, “The Cool Web.” The Real is where the signifieds live, in all their raw nowness, their newness, their unremitting foreverness.  And a lot of what I’ve read tells me that, Continue Reading

“Feminine Jouissance” or Kicking Against the Prick(s) of Lacan


I, like most women and probably some men who take on Lacan’s ideas, am really having a problem with his concepts of sexuation. I have travelled a long way with Lacan, and it’s a good thing this blog is iterative, because if I look back at some of my posts and earlier attempts to take Continue Reading

Intersexions: Lacan’s Refusal or You Will Find the Man of your Dreams in your Dreams

John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester

In Seminar XX, often called “Encore” or “On Feminine Sexuality: The Limits of Love and Knowledge,” Lacan makes two very controversial statements. I think it is essential for anyone claiming to use Lacanian Psychoanalytical Criticism as their methodology to at least believe that they have understood what he meant by them.  The first is “la Continue Reading

Writing the Erotic Phenomenologically

One of the biggest problems with being a writer is language. Yes, it happens to be the tool we work with, too, but never the less, there is an aspect to language that gets in the way, especially when it comes to the description of bodily and emotional experience. Language isn’t just a tool for Continue Reading