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By John Kucich

British imperialism's favourite literary narrative might sound to be conquest. yet actual British conquests additionally generated a shocking cultural obsession with anguish, sacrifice, defeat, and melancholia. "There was," writes John Kucich, "seemingly a unique crucifixion scene marking the ancient gateway to every colonial theater." In Imperial Masochism, Kucich finds the primary position masochistic sorts of voluntary affliction performed in late-nineteenth-century British wondering imperial politics and sophistication identification. putting the colonial writers Robert Louis Stevenson, Olive Schreiner, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad of their cultural context, Kucich indicates how the ideological and mental dynamics of empire, relatively its reorganization of sophistication identities on the colonial outer edge, relied on figurations of masochism.

Drawing on fresh psychoanalytic thought to outline masochism when it comes to narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence instead of sexual perversion, the e-book illuminates how masochism mediates political considered many various forms, no longer easily those who symbolize the social order as an competition of mastery and submission, or an eroticized drama of energy differentials. Masochism was once a strong psychosocial language that enabled colonial writers to articulate judgments approximately imperialism and class.

the 1st full-length examine of masochism in British colonial fiction, Imperial Masochism places forth new readings of this literature and exhibits the ongoing relevance of psychoanalysis to historicist reports of literature and culture.

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