Sado-eroticism

Trans-Europ-Express, L’Eden et après, Glissements progressifs du plaisir

in Alain Robbe-Grillet
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Up until the 1980s, critics generally espoused the view, encouraged by the author himself, that the world created in Robbe-Grillet's work bore little or no resemblance to the real world, and the text was to be regarded as non-mimetic and non-referential, as art not life. Robbe-Grillet's sexual obsessions led him to draw heavily in his cinematic oeuvre on popular cultural sources, particularly on 'softcore' films of the 1960s and 1970s. Pornography is conventionally distinguished from erotica as a form of low or popular as opposed to high culture. Robbe-Grillet himself always spoke of eroticism and not pornography, a choice of language designed to position his work ultimately in high culture, satirical intentions justifying the presence of explicit sex and nudity. L'Eden et après, Robbe-Grillet argues, attacks the very stereotypes that imprison women in roles constructed by men. The chapter pursues this argument with reference to Glissements progressifs du plaisir.

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