Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Innocence and Rapture: The Erotic Child in Pater, Wilde, James, and Nabokov

By Kevin Ohi (NHC Fellow, 2004–05)

New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

From the publisher’s description:

Taking as its focus the erotic child in decadent aesthetics, this book explores the sexual and political stakes of an aestheticistexperience of rapture. Ohi examines the power of the work of art to transport, to disorient, to move, to extort the equivocal pleasuresof self-loss. He also explores how the beautiful child offers partisans of 'art for art's sake' an emblem for the ecstatic and erotic, even the queer possibilities of art. Aestheticism's erotic child is thus in stark contrast to the innocent child of today's ideology, who secures the claims of identity against the very disorientations celebrated by aestheticism. Articulating aesthetic transport through the desiring and desired child, aestheticism interrogates the ideology underpinning sexual oppression.

Subjects
Literature / Gender and Sexuality / Literary Criticism / Aesthetics / Eroticism / Children / Walter Pater / Oscar Wilde / Henry James / Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov /

Ohi, Kevin (NHC Fellow, 2004–05). Innocence and Rapture: The Erotic Child in Pater, Wilde, James, and Nabokov. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.