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dc.contributor.authorBarr, Rebecca Anne
dc.date.accessioned2018-09-20T16:00:34Z
dc.date.available2018-09-20T16:00:34Z
dc.date.issued2016-12-21
dc.identifier.citationBarr, Rebecca Anne (2016). The man of feeling as dupe of desire: john cleland’s memoirs of a coxcomb (1751). Études Épistémè (30),
dc.identifier.issn1634-0450
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10379/10358
dc.description.abstractThis essay analyses John Cleland's Memoirs of a Coxcomb (1751), his idiosyncratic sequel to the more famous Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1749). As Kathleen Lubey has recently shown, sensuality was part of literature's repertoire of moral refinement. Indeed, Lubey has argued that erotica acts as 'a continuous unfolding of epistemology from the details of amorous scenes', providing a key means of understanding the self and its relation to the world. Yet despite its amorous plot, Memoirs of a Coxcomb emphasises the limits of sensory knowledge. The novel's comically inadequate narrator is a 'Dupe of his desires': a man misled by feeling. Reading Coxcomb as a transmutation of mid-Peighteenth-Pcentury 'it-Pnarratives', this essay argues that rather than constituting and exercising virile autonomy, sexual passion potentially renders the male subject a mere puppet subjected to the mechanistic demands of feeling. Demonstrating a skeptical approach to the role of the body and sensation in the production of knowledge, the novel also provides an intriguing example of its author's theory of fiction and an exploration of the fate of the author in commodity culture. Challenging the positivist claims of empiricism, the novel's derisive depiction of the pell-Pmell of lust illuminates the compulsive self-Pabnegation of desire, and demonstrates the difficulty of parsing an idea of the self and the world from a deluge of sensory data. Cleland's novel thus presents sensuality not as a laboratory of masculine self-fashioning, but as an intractable problem for self-Pknowledge and understanding.
dc.publisherOpenEdition
dc.relation.ispartofÉtudes Épistémè
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
dc.subjectepistemology
dc.subjectmasculinity
dc.subjectmechanism
dc.subjectsensation
dc.subjectsensuality
dc.subjectsensibility
dc.subjecterotica
dc.subjectit-narrative
dc.subjectjohn cleland
dc.subjectmemoirs of a coxcomb
dc.titleThe man of feeling as dupe of desire: john cleland’s memoirs of a coxcomb (1751)
dc.typeArticle
dc.identifier.doi10.4000/episteme.1454
dc.local.publishedsourcehttps://doi.org/10.4000/episteme.1454
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland