Incest : A New Perspective

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-08-02
  • Publisher: Polity Pr

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In this major new book, Mary Hamer offers a new perspective on incest, making a link with the scandal of sexual abuse on the part of priests. She places sexual abuse in the context of the whole social order. Hamer's novel and innovative approach challenges the taboo on clear thinking around the subject of incest. She demonstrates the inherent contradictions in official accounts of the subject, from genetics and anthropology to law.Drawing on the work of American psychotherapist Judith Herman, she invites readers to focus on the neurological damage caused by traumatic experience, arguing that it is the overwhelming of one person by another that constitutes abuse, and it is this which causes the damage, not the fact of a close relationship.She brings together, in accessible form, key descriptions of the effects of abuse from analysts Sandor Ferenczi, Estela Welldon and Valerie SinasonShe revisits the two real-life cases of Father Porter from Massachusetts and Sappho Durrell, daughter of the British writer Lawrence Durrell. She also draws on the work of artists and filmmakers to explain the way film and literature have helped to preserve our understanding of abuse and of its place in the worldFilms and novels featured: Murmur of the Heart, Art for Teachers of Children, Suddenly Last Summer, Through a Glass Darkly, Lolita, The Bluest Eye, The God of Small Things.Includes 16 film stills

Author Biography

Mary Hamer is a Fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. A cultural historian, her previous books include Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (1998), Signs of Cleopatra: History, Politics, Representation (1993), and Writing by Numbers: Trollope's Serial Fiction (1987).

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgements x
Introduction 1(6)
PART I On Knowing and Not Wanting To Know 7(92)
Intimacy and Pleasure
Murmur of the Heart
Louis Malle
Jennifer Montgomery: Art for Teachers of Children
Sappho Durrell
Father Porter and Cardinal Law
Sandor Ferenczi and Sigmund Freud
Valerie Sinason and Estela Welldon
PART II On Being Reminded 99(77)
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Lolita (1962 and 1997)
The Bluest Eye (1970)
The God of Small Things (1997)
Conclusion 176(3)
Notes 179(3)
Index 182

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