The new pornographies

Explicit sex in recent French fiction and film

This book examines that body of recent French literary and cinematic productions which have been characterised by their reference to, use of, or complicity with the aesthetics, the codes, the tropes or the world of pornography, and which have made a significant cultural impact on the basis of this dimension. It considers the insistent heterosexuality of most contemporary pornographic citation, exploring a range of texts and films, and taking in the female perspective on the male and the male perspective on the female. The book discusses the work of Guillaume Dustan and Erik Remes, whose explicit representations of sexual activity intervene into debates about the place of gay and queer identities in contemporary France, particularly with reference to sexual practice in the light of the AIDS epidemic. The book explores the conflicted sexual space, considering the perspectives of men and women in turn, starting somewhat unconventionally with women's art. It addresses Catherine Breillat's work in terms of its relation to the pornographic. The book also explains that the homophobic dismissal of homosexuality, and its defiant, resistant assertion, sometimes rely on the figure of anality as a kind of shorthand for their arguments about the relationship between desire, productivity, anatomy, futurity, community, and so on. Michel Houellebecq's treatment of questions of gender, most especially the portrayal of women, including the discourses of misogyny and anti-feminism, is discussed. The book also looks at the concept of child pornography, romantic comedy, and the growing impact of independent cinema.

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