Critical distance
Catherine Millet, Virginie Despentes
in The new pornographies
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Catherine Millet and Virginie Despentes are, then, essentially concerned with the distance between their work and the world around it; this chapter seeks to show that the work of both is defined by the difficulties entailed in regulating this distance. For Millet's text also owes its success to the highly contemporary aesthetic drama it plays out - a drama all about contact and distance. Throughout her memoir, Millet consistently valorises distinction: her concern is to maintain a kind of separation, hierarchical and exclusive, both within the worlds of sexual exchange she describes, and between herself as author and her fleshly reader. There is an interesting dynamic at work here, as Millet maintains a sharp separation between her sexual activity within the swinging world and the rest of her life, including other instances of sexual activity.

The new pornographies

Explicit sex in recent French fiction and film

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