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Sexuality and Form: Caravaggio, Marlowe and Bacon [Hardcover]

Graham Hammill

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Book Description

3 Nov 2000
This ambitious, wide-ranging study of sexuality, aesthetics, and epistemology covers everything from the aesthetics of war to the works of Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Christopher Marlowe, and Francis Bacon, synthesizing queer theory and psychoanalysis and demonstrating the role of the body and the flesh as both a problem and a promise within the narrative arts.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 2nd edition (3 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226315185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226315188
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,823,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Hammill's ability to connect the dots of various disciplines to make a big cultural picture is nothing short of brilliant.... Original, daring, disturbing, polemical and persuasive. It stands head and shoulders above almost all, if not all, books on sex and violence (and outsiderness and cultural impact)." - Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance "Breathtaking, substantial, and original.... Hammill's use of humanist, Biblical, and psychoanalytic paradigms and micro-histories to intervene in current cultural studies of homosexuality and 'sexed thinking' is much needed. Readers will leave this book convinced that the flesh cannot be thought of outside a psychoanalytic register." - Julia Lupton, author of Afterlives of the Saints

About the Author

Graham L. Hammill is assistant professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.

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Sexuality and Form argues that sex is a limit of the civilizing process. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Academic Book 3 Feb 2005
By C. M. Wiggins - Published on Amazon.com
Hammill's book offers an interesting and much needed discussion of three important men relating issues of sexuality to the formation of their individual arts. Hammill presents his arguement in intriging and complex ways, greatly expanding the boundaries of his field and laying the groundwork for other scholars. I am surprised by the impassioned hatred of the other reviewer. They seem for some reason shocked that a book published by a University press, and using the line "Sexuality and Form is an ambitious new study of sexuality, aesthetics, and epistemology--one of the first works of its kind to bring queer theory and psychoanalysis together within a Renaissance framework" to describe itself should be written in academic language. This is a wonderful book for anyone who has taken college level art course and or ha studied lietrary/queer theory at the college level. Others might find it a bit opaque, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort you will be greatly rewarded. This is an academic study and is written in academic language, a language transparent to anyone trained to read it. I find it bemusing to read someone vilifying an academic book for being just that: academic. It's analogous to reading a pornographic novel and criticizing it for containing too much sex.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Less than meets the eye 9 Aug 2008
By J. Crewe - Published on Amazon.com
Ambitious book with a high theory profile. Should be read by people interested in the "queer Renaissance" but promises more than it delivers.
6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not Buy! NOT in English! 20 Oct 2004
By Lawrence Patrick Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
I've been cheated! This book isn't in English, but in academic babble! Before you buy it, try making sense of the very first paragraph:

"Sexuality and Form argues that sex is a limit of the civilizing process. It examines some of the epistemological and aesthetic spaces created by Renaissance painting, drama, and science - by Michelangelo Caravaggio, Christopher Marlow, and Francis Bacon, to be more specific - that permit attempts to think sex at the limit of civilized, social judgement. It is my contention that Carravagio, Marlow and Bacon share the attempt to construct experimental lines of sexed thinking - minor literatures, as Gilles Deleuza and Felix Guattari might put it - that rework, overturn, modify, and drain the normative force of civilized judgement from within. Specifically, I will argue that each of these thinkers is able to produce a temporal pose that is irreducible to social thought. What makes these experimental lines of thinking sexed is not simply the content of their thought but the various disjunctions between forms and substances upon which these lines of thinking insist, disjunctions whose locus in all three figures - Caravaggio, Marlow, and Bacon - is the epistemological space of the body being judged."

Try rereading it. Still no luck? Try this thought experiment: Imagine sitting in a 16th cent London tavern and telling Kip Marlow that he "share(s) the attempt to construct experimental lines of sexed thinking", or that he "insist(s)" on "various disjunctions between form and substance" ("insist"(s), mind you!). It'll be news to him! Shame on all who write, edit or peddle this nonsence! Shame on the University of Chicago Press!Why publish it? This language is not meant to communicate ideas. I'm reminds me of little boys in their back yard fort, talking their trivialities in pig latin so that the little girls can't understand them. If professor Hammill wants to engage his collegues (whomever they may be)in such a puerile game and call it scholarlship, that's their right. But I deeply resent being tricked into paying for it!
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