If not, I am afraid that this survey of sex, as regarded by theorists, artists, psychoanalysts and Jay McInerney who has a professional hard-on for Bond girls , is as jouissant as a desiccated jar of Astrolube. Yet sex, for critical theorists, is a serious business: Not in the habit of talking dirty discounting Foucault who, at least, embedded his The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, Volume 1 with the odd pervert-farmer tale , these analysts choose instead to examine sex as a shifting sign of our changing ideologies, as a practice fraught with cultural messages about who we are when, say, we go to a fetish bar dressed in a gigantic diaper.
It is all that. In Rutherford's words, " A World Made Sexy is about both power and pleasure"; he adds that what he calls "the Eros project" is a site where we all may "dream, play and, above all, shop. Shopping, I gather, is the way in which we purchase sex through suggestive advertisement - not, as I had hoped, an all-day excursion to porn stores Cum as You Are or The Stag Shop. Rutherford's book reads like a dissertation, and I thought it was as I read it, noting that all the key discursive items that "made news around the world," outlined in the introduction, occurred in The author also states that he has neglected to discuss "the very recent story of sex on the Web," a shockingly fusty and erroneous omission the Internet has been a porn-hole for more than 20 years now that, at a glance, smacks of an old endeavour, one perhaps as old as Madonna's utterly extinguished cachet.
What is Kobo Super Points?
We will never know whether Rutherford is publishing in the place of perishing or whether he was frightened away from research during the Y2K scare. Ultimately, his book is an admirable attempt at ghost-writing The History of Sexuality that Foucault never wrote. Rutherford is a meticulous scholar, and he is careful to delineate the multiple ways in which the erotic body is constructed through culture and the individual, through art and commerce, and within and without the parameters of society. His work on Freud is lively, yet somewhat ball-dropping: Rutherford depicts the elderly Freud snarling that "liberation [is]a recipe for disaster.
Yet Rutherford dismisses the psychoanalyst as "cranky with age. A less theory-bound critic might have explored the significance of Freud's regrets, of his chilling presentiment of hippies, singers, nudists and other species of lowlife. The author is largely, and in a late-breaking way, fascinated by Eros and advertisement: There is a long graph in the book charting products, their origin and effect, that would confuse an ardent actuary.
I found myself longing for Wilson Brian Key, the author of 's Subliminal Seduction , that wonderful scrutiny of advertisements that were revealed by the cunning author to be literally filled with sexual organs, bodily fluids and even tastier manipulations. Rutherford largely dismisses Key as a hack, but still discusses Key's "active imagination" - and his book - in great detail, and asks, as if vexed, "Why was he so successful? Of course, Key's link of advertising and sex smacked of the kind of cultural paranoia that dominated the s the Man is selling sex!
And, I might add, Key was dead-on and still is about what is going on in that camel leg on the cigarette package.
When Rutherford gets to Madonna, I admit that my eyes formed protective shields. Madonna's entire commodification of sex and the body - well, her body - is so played out that the author would have been better served discussing Burt Reynolds's Playgirl centrefold and more current , one feels. There are other graphs, other discursive excursions and a good deal of feminist thought in Rutherford's difficult curriculum-grabber.
Join Kobo & start eReading today
While prolific U. Those were heady days: The rise of third-wave feminism stood as a mondo-erotic, smouldering challenge to every available notion of female sexuality, and almost moved women from the margins to the centre of the epicene burlesque show. It is this, the old excitement, that Rutherford misses: He is far too adept, too bright, to buy into antiquated ideas about to name but a few referenced here "food porn," "penis porn" and "fat porn," and he is man enough to talk about donkey-sex without flinching.
Published in , this obscene instance of investigative journalism spiked when the author decided to start having sex with his interview subjects and receive a "happy ending" to a baby powder massage. He ludicrously revealed what he had done, making his storied publisher wife, Nan Talese, none too happy, and proving that cranky old Freud had a point and then some. An Amazon search reveals a writer named Paul Rutherford whose novel, The Tunnel Hoard , features a Second World War bamboo-cage-imprisoned hero, kept alive only by the promise he made to his wife "that he would come home to her.
If I may be permitted to be wildly speculative, it is hard to resist the assumption that Rutherford the critic and novelist are one and the same, given the Freudian nature of the novel's title, and given how hard some male academics must work in order to come home. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.
A World Made Sexy: Freud to Madonna
NOOK Book. The cult of eroticism is a pervasive force in modern society, affecting almost every aspect of our daily lives. In this book, Paul Rutherford argues that this phenomenon is a product of one of the major commercial and political enterprises of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: the creation of desire - for sex, for wealth, and for entertainment.
Sex in advertising. : Toronto Public Library
A World Made Sexy examines museum exhibitions, art, books, magazines, films, and television to explore the popular rise of eroticism in America and across the developed world. Starting with a brief foray into the history of pornography, Rutherford goes on to explore a sexual liberation movement shaped by the ideas of Marx and Freud, the erotic styles of Salvador Dali and pop art, the pioneering use of publicity as erotica by Playboy and other media, and the growing concerns of cultural critics over the emergence of a regime of stimulation.
In one case study, Rutherford pairs James Bond and Madonna in order to examine the link between sex and aggression. He details how television advertising after constructed a theatre of the libido to entice the buying public, and concludes by situating the cultivation of eroticism in the wider context of Michel Foucault's views on social power and governmentality, and specifically how they relate to sexuality, during the modern era.
- Account Options!
- A History of Britain Book II: The Normans, Magna Carta and the Black Death, 1066-1485.
- Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate.
- Psychology Today: Secrets of Successful Weight Loss.
A World Made Sexy is about power and pleasure, emancipation and domination, and the relationship between the personal passions and social controls that have crafted desire. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books.
Read an excerpt of this book!