Category Archives: Critical


The Project and its Goals Journeys Into the Void is a research by practice project comprised of two parts: a collection of twenty-one pieces of short fiction and a critical exegesis. The pieces of short fiction comply with the conventions of the erotic fiction genre and, while care has been taken to produce creative writing Continue Reading


Definition and History Difficulties arise almost immediately when one seeks a concise definition of eroticism. The OED offers two: “erotic spirit or character; also, the use of erotic or sexually arousing imagery in literature or art,” and a medical/psychological definition: “a condition or state of sexual excitement or desire; a tendency to become sexually aroused, Continue Reading


Abecassis, Jack I. “The Eclipse of Desire: L’Affaire Houellebecq.” Modern Language Notes 115.4 (2000): 801–826. Web. 5 Feb. 2013. Attwood, Feona. Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture. I.B. Tauris, 2009. Print. Bailly, Lionel. Lacan: A Beginner’s Guide. London: Oneworld, 2009. Print. Barthes, Roland. The Pleasure of the Text. Trans. Richard Miller. New York: Hill Continue Reading


In this project, I have sought to compare and contrast contemporary and mainstream understanding of what is erotic against Bataille’s definition of eroticism. I argue that our culture perpetuates and commodifies nostalgia for taboos and transgressions we have, largely, already dispensed with. Where erotic writing was once a site of resistance against dominant social forces, Continue Reading

The Edge of Language

Erotic experience will commit us to silence (Bataille Erotism 252). In his essay “A Preface to Transgression” on Bataille’s L’Erotisme, Foucault writes that, in all our attempts to liberate sexuality by speaking and writing about it, we have not failed, but done something worse: we’ve described its limits (Foucault 30). Now that science has laid Continue Reading

Ecstasy: Transcendence, Feminine Jouissance and the Lacanian Real

If transgression is a crossing of a boundary, then what lies beyond it? Bataille’s answer is ecstasy. While in everyday contemporary parlance we understand ecstasy as a wholly positive experience often associated with intense physical pleasure, the origin of the word reveals more complex and ambivalent connotations of insanity, dislocation, fragmentation, or a “feeling which Continue Reading


À la jouissance, on n’accède pas par un mouvement direct : il faut un franchissement, une action violente qui casse la chaîne continue, horizontale, uniforme du désir pris dans le langage. Le désir a besoin d’une effraction, d’un forçage, d’un saut dans l’impossible. Le désir a besoin de la transgression. (Lippi 17) The subject of Continue Reading

The Erotic Self

Erotica is primarily a character-driven genre; narratives usually focus on the inner experience of characters to offer the reader an immersive encounter with the story. In this chapter, I reflect on Bataille’s concept of a decentred self, able to transcend the discontinuity of the socially intelligible subject and emerge as a continuous being in the Continue Reading

Writing Erotic Fiction

This research project sets out to explore the possibilities of formulating new sites of eroticism through critical and creative writing. The creative portion of the project consists of a collection of fictional short stories that, if published and offered commercially, would most appropriately be situated in the erotica genre. However, much of the scholarship on Continue Reading

Lacanian Psychoanalytical Theory, Bataille and Writing Eroticism

Why Lacan …who understands the unconscious best, the poet or the clinician? Or, to put it another way, do the aesthetic and the clinical have to speak in entirely different languages or does the poetic enter both? (Wright 1) To use any Freudian-influenced psychoanalytic criticism as a methodological tool for a creative and critical research Continue Reading