Gilles Deleuze on Sacher-Masoch and Sade: A Bergsonian Criticism of Freudian Psychoanalysis

Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 9 (2):153-184 (2015)
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In the long line of French Sade studies, Deleuze's essay Coldness and Cruelty marks out a special place. By discussing Masoch both in addition to and in contrast to Sade, Deleuze reveals the stakes of his book: he wants to unmask the concept of sadomasochism as a clinical nonentity. In their paper, the authors explain the arguments supporting this project and show their relation to Deleuze's reading of Bergson. They then argue that there is a second, similarly Bergsonian criticism of Freudian psychoanalysis operating in the background of Coldness and Cruelty. This more wide-ranging criticism takes Freud to task for conceiving perversion, like neurosis, in Oedipal terms. This conception, Deleuze holds, forgets that perversion and neurosis represent two different worlds that essentially have nothing to do with each other despite crossing in clinical experience.



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Will Britt
Loyola Marymount University

Citations of this work

Toying with the law: Deleuze, Lacan and the promise of perversion.Kai Heron - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4):738-758.

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