“Shall I bite it?” : Sexuality and the Biting Male in Dickens. / Ramuz, Colette.

In: Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020, p. 73-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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“Shall I bite it?” : Sexuality and the Biting Male in Dickens. / Ramuz, Colette.

In: Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020, p. 73-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Ramuz, C 2020, '“Shall I bite it?”: Sexuality and the Biting Male in Dickens', Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 73-94. https://doi.org/10.5325/dickstudannu.51.1.0073

APA

Vancouver

Author

Ramuz, Colette. / “Shall I bite it?” : Sexuality and the Biting Male in Dickens. In: Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction. 2020 ; Vol. 51, No. 1. pp. 73-94.

BibTeX

@article{f802af2ecf6c449c9f91ffb63aee3f96,
title = "“Shall I bite it?”: Sexuality and the Biting Male in Dickens",
abstract = "It is a common claim that in Dickens{\textquoteright}s novels alimentary pleasures are substituted for sexual ones. I argue, however, that oral pleasure is not a substitution but is meant to be read as an expression of material sexuality and as a primal negotiation between self and other. In this paper, I examine the erotic energy of Dickensian mouths through the phenomenon of biting as an expression of male sexual appetite. Biting is associated with the impulse to penetrate the desirable object; in Dickens{\textquoteright}s writing the semiotics of biting signify a fetishised sexual behaviour but it is also one that progresses from the grotesque to a normalized stage of masculine psychosexual and social development. Examining the Dickensian men who bite or threaten to bite their objects of desire, I focus on how patterns of eroticized comic cannibalism in the early novels develop into a more mature expression of male sexuality in later works. Dickens not only explores psychosexual conflict but also expresses it in the form of a taboo act, situated firmly in the middle-class home. In this new reading, I identify the centrality of the mouth in Dickensian sexuality. ",
author = "Colette Ramuz",
year = "2020",
doi = "10.5325/dickstudannu.51.1.0073",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "73--94",
journal = "Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction",
issn = "0084-9812",
publisher = "Penn State University Press",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - “Shall I bite it?”

T2 - Sexuality and the Biting Male in Dickens

AU - Ramuz, Colette

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - It is a common claim that in Dickens’s novels alimentary pleasures are substituted for sexual ones. I argue, however, that oral pleasure is not a substitution but is meant to be read as an expression of material sexuality and as a primal negotiation between self and other. In this paper, I examine the erotic energy of Dickensian mouths through the phenomenon of biting as an expression of male sexual appetite. Biting is associated with the impulse to penetrate the desirable object; in Dickens’s writing the semiotics of biting signify a fetishised sexual behaviour but it is also one that progresses from the grotesque to a normalized stage of masculine psychosexual and social development. Examining the Dickensian men who bite or threaten to bite their objects of desire, I focus on how patterns of eroticized comic cannibalism in the early novels develop into a more mature expression of male sexuality in later works. Dickens not only explores psychosexual conflict but also expresses it in the form of a taboo act, situated firmly in the middle-class home. In this new reading, I identify the centrality of the mouth in Dickensian sexuality.

AB - It is a common claim that in Dickens’s novels alimentary pleasures are substituted for sexual ones. I argue, however, that oral pleasure is not a substitution but is meant to be read as an expression of material sexuality and as a primal negotiation between self and other. In this paper, I examine the erotic energy of Dickensian mouths through the phenomenon of biting as an expression of male sexual appetite. Biting is associated with the impulse to penetrate the desirable object; in Dickens’s writing the semiotics of biting signify a fetishised sexual behaviour but it is also one that progresses from the grotesque to a normalized stage of masculine psychosexual and social development. Examining the Dickensian men who bite or threaten to bite their objects of desire, I focus on how patterns of eroticized comic cannibalism in the early novels develop into a more mature expression of male sexuality in later works. Dickens not only explores psychosexual conflict but also expresses it in the form of a taboo act, situated firmly in the middle-class home. In this new reading, I identify the centrality of the mouth in Dickensian sexuality.

U2 - 10.5325/dickstudannu.51.1.0073

DO - 10.5325/dickstudannu.51.1.0073

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 73

EP - 94

JO - Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction

JF - Dickens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction

SN - 0084-9812

IS - 1

ER -