Work of the Fellows: Monographs

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

Ohi, Kevin (Fellow, 2004-05)

New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022

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 aestheticist experience of rapture. Ohi examines the power of the work of art to transport, to disorient, to move, to extort the equivocal pleasures of 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 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; Literary Criticism; Gender and Sexuality; Aesthetics; Eroticism; Children;