Friday, April 12, 2013

The Kind of Thing You Come Across Working in a University Library

The first sentence of Male Masochism by Carol Siegel (1995):

In the wake of Michel Foucault's discussions of the construction of sexualities, much important work has been done in recent literary theory to historicize theory's primarily classic psychoanalytic, and thus synchronic, vision of textual representation of gender difference and, relatedly, heterosexuality and homosexuality.

You can't beat a snappy first line, can you?

And the blurb of The Church A Demon Lover: A Sartrean Analysis of an Institution by Roberta Imboden (1995, too-- that was a good year):

The New Testament message of love has been distorted in the process of being mediated by the institution of the Roman Catholic Church. [Of course!] Through interweaving Sartre's theory of historical categories in his Critique of Dialectical Reason, and his concrete personal relations in Being and Nothingness, one sees that the structure of the institution breaks the structure of love, a sovereign, free, reciprocal relationship among equals, and establishes in its place a structure of domination, that of sado-masochism. The intentions those who are involved in Church praxis are subsequently deviated. But herein lies the hope. The ability to reason dialectically [whoo-hoo!] rather than analytically, offers the possibility of transcending the various distortions of the Gospel message, for dialectical reason helps one to understand the structure of Leonardo Boff's Trinity [tell me more!], which is analogous to that of Sartrean love in Being and Nothingness. Through the use of Boff's paradigmatic Trinity, it is then possible to postulate a concrete structure for the "new" Church that is capable of being a proper vehicle for the expression of the Gospel message.

Christianity was waiting one thousand, nine hundred and ninety five years for Roberta Imboden, professor of literature in the Department of English at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, to come along and set it to rights. God sure works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?

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