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Sensational FleshRace, Power, and Masochism$
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Amber Jamilla Musser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479891818

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479891818.001.0001

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Objectification, Complicity, and Coldness

Objectification, Complicity, and Coldness

The Story of O’s Narratives of Femininity and Precarity

Chapter:
(p.58) 3 Objectification, Complicity, and Coldness
Source:
Sensational Flesh
Author(s):

Amber Jamilla Musser

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479891818.003.0003

This chapter examines literary representations of submission and femininity to articulate emotional complicity. For instance, The Story of O demonstrates that submission has been understood as a performance of femininity during postwar France. The chapter then outlines the link between femininity, objectification, and recognition through masochism by foregrounding aesthetics and other models of agency under conditions of constraint. In addition, the theme of ambivalence in the narrative shows the ways that femininity is embedded within prevailing discourses of power. Given these statements, the performances of femininity under the heavy hand of patriarchy during the immediate postwar period offer a model of confined subjectivity.

Keywords:   femininity, The Story of O, performance femininity, objectification, masochism

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