By A. S. Byatt
In those breathtaking novellas, A.S. Byatt returns to the territory she explored in ownership: the panorama of Victorian England, the place technology and spiritualism are either well known manias, and family decorum coexists with brutality and perversion. Angels and bugs is "delicate and hopefully ironic.... Byatt completely blends laughter and sympathy [with] impressive sensuality" (San Francisco Examiner).
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Additional info for Angels & Insects: Two Novellas
I f this kind of genetically distant phantasm, intending to subvert even the principle of social reality, has certainly nourished the "contestation of global society, " one must still, to explain their resurgence, grasp the specific mechanisms of repression in contemporary society. What new type of repression provokes this new type of insurrection? 1. IN ORDER TO READ repression, one must unravel not only the schema of the police, but also the empirical schema, vulgarized by psychoanalysis, of vital forces being pushed back, of the frustration of "essential" needs, etc.
The same with the liberation of labor. And with the sun during vacation: the rehabilitation of the body, concern for beauty, demand for well-being? Yes, but therein separated ends, circumscribed to vacation, puritan satisfactions, parenthesis in work, substituted for desire: alibis. Vacation sun is repressive, its real function is to disavow the value of pleasure, because it intervenes as a sign of an absent totality. Thus nudism: is it the truth of the body? Not at all: the truth of the body is desire and nudism, usurping nudity as a sign, disavows more completely, omits and censures nudity as flesh.
It won't be warded off in the street, nor 37 through street fighting, because it is inscribed even in the arrange ment of the street, not panning the windows, not in the spectacle of the street fighting. In co-management, it nourishes the signs them selves (but only the signs) of tesponsibility and power. This historic transition of violent forms of repression toward complicit euphoria can be read in the face of the city: the grand Parisian boulevards, once the site of insurrection and of its suppression, have become grand commercial and spectacular arteries.
Angels & Insects: Two Novellas by A. S. Byatt
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