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Humour can be theorised as integral to the genre even if there are some films that do not provoke laughter. Romantic comedy has been described as a narrative of the heterosexual couple with a happy ending in which humour does not necessarily play an important part. The comic, protective, erotically-charged space is the space of romantic comedy. This book proposes a revised theory of romantic comedy and then tests its validity through the analysis of texts, but these films must not be expected to fully embody the theory. It proposes a change of approach in two different but closely linked directions. On the one hand, a comic perspective is a fundamental ingredient of what we understand by romantic comedy; on the other, the genre does not have a specific ideology but, more broadly, it deals with the themes of love and romance, intimacy and friendship, sexual choice and orientation. The book discusses two films directed by two of the most prestigious figures in the history of Hollywood comedy: Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be became part of the canon as one of the most brilliant comedies in the history of Hollywood in so far as its romantic comedy elements remained invisible. Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid was almost universally rejected because its satire was too base, too obscene, too vulgar. Discussing Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors, the book attempts to move beyond the borders of comedy.

The mother and creativity
Jeremy Tambling

themselves a gift, which the child has the power to give or to withhold. In these first stages, the child’s disposition is ‘polymorphously perverse’ ( SE 7.191); i.e. sexuality is not related to normative sexual choices (neither mouth nor anus is gendered). With the move to the third stage, which for Freud is under the compulsion of the Oedipal, sexuality becomes associated with specific parts of the body

in Literature and psychoanalysis
Abstract only
Lesbian Gothic horror
Gina Wisker

female vampire terrifies because of her ability to transgress norms and behaviours associated with gender difference: her actions (fangs piercing the skin) resemble those of penetration. The transgressive lesbian vampire becomes a powerful rescripted figure for such transformations. Not only does her existence as a vampire challenge male power but her sexual choice is perceived as a threat to normative

in Queering the Gothic
Mark Jordan

Michel Foucault, ‘Sexual Choice, Sexual Act’, interview with J. O’Higgins, Salmagundi 58–59 (Autumn‒Winter 1982), 10–24. I follow the French version, ‘Choix sexuel, acte sexuel’, in DE 4: pp. 320–34 (p. 333). The corresponding English reads ‘the major issues and questions of life-style’ (p. 21

in Foucault’s theatres
Nicole Vitellone

‘the discourse on promotion therefore aims to saturate the image of the “homosexual” with the traditional connotations of depraved sexual acts, and to prevent cultural acceptability of gay identity, and sexual diversity rooted in the principle of sexual choice’ (Watney, 1991: 400), Watney links the visual field in the context of AIDS promotion to the constitution of sexual others and in particular the figuring of gay as Other, a figuring which concerns the stabilisa- AIDS, pornography and the condom 89 tion of heterosexuality. What I want to address in the

in Object matters
Open Access (free)
Lillian Leitzel’s celebrity, agency and her performed femininity
Kate Holmes

perform sexual agency – much in the same way that modern girls were exposing their limbs in fashion-wear as well as claiming more sexual choice for themselves. What is radical here, perhaps, is that this woman enjoyed her strength and muscularity and deliberately chose to sexualise her body via its unusual muscle mass. Leitzel’s significant bodily exposure was a matter of pride; she gloried in her muscle in the moment of performance rather than hiding it from view – positioning a muscular female body as desirable within a ­mainstream popular entertainment. Agency and

in Stage women, 1900–50
Abstract only
Miles Leeson
Emma V. Miller

incest in the novels of Iris Murdoch and Simone de Beauvoir, with a particular focus on Murdoch’s The Black Prince (1973) and Beauvoir’s The Mandarins (1957). He examines the philosophical interaction between virtue, desire and sexual choice in the texts, and the role of such frictions within the fictional form. The central issue here is one of intent; do both Beauvoir, and Murdoch – who exhibited a much greater artistic interest in incest than

in Incest in contemporary literature
Sadomasochism in Richard of St Victor’s On the four degrees of violent love
Christopher Michael Roman

that the love that is finally revealed in his schema of violent love pushes the body, mind, and soul beyond an easy mapping of gender and sex into an uncharted and unchartable star map in which the contemplative is identified with a quivering, throbbing, scintillating, undulating, and never-ending desire. Notes 1 Michel Foucault, ‘Sexual choice, sexual act’, in Foucault live: interviews 1961–1984 , ed. Slyvère Lotringer, trans. Lysa Hochroth and John

in Painful pleasures
John Anderson

Pentecostal Christianity, in reality the Pentecostal engagement with the political order is more complex and ambiguous in nature. The other charge sometimes made is that Pentecostalism encourages a socially conservative political agenda though, as we suggested with regard to the Christian Right in the USA, this tells us very little about Pentecostals’ attitude to democratic politics. In common with most conservative Protestants they tend to be opposed to abortion and to any public recognition of homosexuality as a legitimate sexual choice, and they

in Christianity and democratisation
Nicole Vitellone

nonetheless similar to contagious knowledge, to restrain vice and produce virtue in adolescents. The regulation of adolescent sexual behaviour in the early twentieth century is further illustrated in Bashford’s (2004) historical account of the emergence of Australian public health. According to Bashford ‘national hygiene became the responsibility of individual citizens’ (Bashford, 2004: 173). One’s own intimate sexual choices and actions were understood to be significant for the nation or race. The focus on sex hygiene constituted an extreme form of nationalism ‘based

in Object matters