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Title: Realms of eroticism and modes of transgression : Georges Bataille, literature, architecture
Author: Roberts-Hughes, Rebecca Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 483X
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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My project traces the interrelated discourses of eroticism, modernism and transgression in the twentieth century through a nexus of thinkers, writers and architects focused around the French theorist and pornographic writer Georges Bataille (1897-1962). My aim is to consider what it means to think of eroticism as a transgression, and what transgression might look like. The topics of eroticism and transgression demand an interdisciplinary approach, and my thesis responds to this need through analysis of cultural theories, literature and architecture. Bataille, D. H. Lawrence, Anaïs Nin and Le Corbusier were contemporaries who explored similar ideas through different disciplines and using different language. My thesis draws them together to explore these similarities and what they reveal about the different disciplines, their relationship to one another, and their relationship to eroticism and transgression. My method involves close theoretical readings of Bataille’s texts – chiefly Eroticism, but also The Accursed Share, History of Eroticism, Theory of Religion and selected essays and fiction – to develop a rigorous reading of Bataille’s notion of erotic transgression. This notion and related ideas of expenditure, sacrifice and poetry provide the basis for original analysis of the literary motifs and language used by Lawrence and Nin who, like Bataille, were concerned with writing eroticism. The importance of the sites of eroticism in fiction by all three writers and the structure of the language they use reveals a connection between their erotics, and between transgression and architecture. I explore this connection further by analysing the ideas and productions of architects who have openly engaged with Bataille’s thinking, focusing on Le Corbusier and Bernard Tschumi. I examine the possibility of transgression and poetry in architecture, and what the relationship between literary and architectural modes of transgression reveals about eroticism.
Supervisor: Ffrench, Raymond Patrick ; Snaith, Anna Lucy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available