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journal of the theoretical humanities volume 15 number 1 april 2010

introduction: tensions critical and clinical

wo problems emerge along with Deleuzes delineation of masochism. The first problem concerns the notion of desire. Studying the figure of the masochist in Deleuzes Coldness and Cruelty and this same figure in Deleuze and Guattaris A Thousand Plateaus, some tensions surface in how we can comprehend desire through Deleuze. These tensions are qualitative and structural and relate to central issues of openendedness and directionality in both literature and life or, to be more specific, to the BwO (Body without Organs) and subjectivity. In fact, the tensions between Deleuzes early essay and his work with Guattari are so considerable that we may need to recognize two different models of desire in Deleuzes philosophy. This article traces these tensions and the two kinds of desire that surface with them through the figure of the masochist as part of Deleuzes critical and clinical project and thereby as part of a project that shifts focus from text as secondary symptom to text as primary sign. In accordance with Deleuzes early essay, the temporality of the masochist is recognized as indistinguishable from the structural conditions of narrative. The second problem with the function of masochism in Deleuze relates to the question of gender. Exactly because the figure of the masochist in Deleuze is closely linked to the critical and clinical project, it becomes apparent that his project has exacerbated the separation between male and female masochism. That Deleuzes symptomatology of masochism relies exclusively on the works of Leopold von SacherMasoch makes sense considering the inevitable role that Sacher-Masoch has played in theories of masochism. At the same time, this single focus

frida beckman TENSIONS IN DELEUZIAN DESIRE critical and clinical reflections on female masochism
has entailed that Deleuzes critical strategy has been reserved for a critical symptomatology of male masochism while leaving female masochism in the hands of clinical, largely psychoanalytic, readings. This article attempts to amend this binary tendency in studies of masochism. Implementing Deleuzes critical project by exploring the structure of narrative and desire in literary works from Sacher-Masoch and the age and Kathy Marquis de Sade to Pauline Re Acker, this article demonstrates that addressing this second problem also becomes a way of addressing the first problem relating to the function of the masochist in Deleuzes thought. We end up with two problems that can be posed through one, single question: are there ways in which a symptomology of female masochism can

ISSN 0969-725X print/ISSN1469-2899 online/10/010093^16 2010 Taylor & Francis and the Editors of Angelaki DOI: 10.1080/0969725X.2010.496172


tensions in deleuzian desire

help us rethink the problem of time and desire in Deleuze? It is in his work on Sacher-Masoch, Daniel W. Smith notes, that Deleuze first connects the critical and the clinical.1 Deleuze, Smith points out, saw his Coldness and Cruelty as a first in a project of studies in the relation between the critical and the clinical, a project that would make it possible to extract concepts from literary works.2 The critical and the clinical, Deleuze argues, converge at the particular point of symptomatology. Medicine, he suggests, comprises three activities: symptomatology or the study of signs; aetiology, that is, the search for causes; and therapy, the development and application of a treatment.3 The first part, the study of signs, Deleuze argues, can just as well be a subject for art as of medicine. Symptomatology is about identifying a point of convergence between different symptoms and naming it. The signs that give rise to a particular concept, or illness, may emerge from a human body but they may just as well be recognized through a work of art, or a piece of literature. Already Sigmund Freud, as Smith notes, used this critical strategy when he turned to Sophocles in his creation of the Oedipus complex.4 At the end of the nineteenth century, Richard von Krafft-Ebing used the particular agendas and aesthetics of the literary texts by the Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Masoch to identify sadism and masochism as two particular sexual pathologies. As Barbara Mennel puts it, Krafft-Ebing turned aesthetics [ . . . ] into sexual science.5 While Krafft-Ebings much-disputed approach was later largely overridden by the clinical approaches of Freud, Theodor Reik and Marie Bonaparte, Deleuze, when introducing his own symptomatology of masochism, finds reason to return to the critical approach and thereby to Sacher-Masochs (as well as Sades) own work. Krafft-Ebings symptomatology relied largely on the contents of the literary texts, which led him to distinguish between sadism and masochism on the grounds that the sadist evinces the desire to cause pain and use force while the masochist harbours the wish to suffer pain and be subjected to force.6 Deleuzes symptomatology of masochism, on the other hand, becomes not so much a matter of content as a matter of structure. For Deleuze, it is the literary strategies of repetition and postponement that reveal the nature of sadism and masochism. It is by paying close attention to these textual strategies that enables Deleuze to revise both Krafft-Ebings dual view and the psychoanalytic symptomatology that, because it had neglected the nature of the texts themselves, had made it possible to conflate sadism and masochism in the complementary unity of sadomasochism. In other words, it is the very structure of Sacher-Masochs work that allows Deleuze to move from more clinical, psychoanalytical approaches to perversion to an analysis that relies on the structure of the literary text. This means that while Deleuze is thus not the first to recognize the link between sadism and masochism and literary texts, something new happens when he reads Sade and Sacher-Masoch and extracts from their literary texts a symptomology. In complementing and reassessing clinical approaches to sadism and masochism with a critical inquiry into the very nature of the literary works that have named them, literary language and descriptive functions become not symbols or representations of sadism and masochism but the very means of determining their differential structures. Deleuze builds on KrafftEbings acknowledgement of the literary in the shaping of sadism and masochism but by returning once more, and more critically, to Sacher-Masochs literary works he makes it possible to posit masochism as an economy that is different from sadism rather than its complementary opposite. The demonstrative function of language in Sade and the dialectical in SacherMasoch produce narratives based on accelerated repetition and deferral respectively which, in Deleuzes view affects, or even effects, the spatiotemporal coordinates of sadism and masochism. The return to the work of Sacher-Masoch and Sade, then, not only enables Deleuze to make a strong case for his critical symptomatology by demonstrating how it enables him to launch his influential differentiation between masochism and sadism. This literary approach also allows him to identify what he sees as the crucial temporal form of masochism. There are ways, he shows, in which the different functions of


narrative and temporality in literature can be linked to economies of masochism and sadism respectively. Their respective and irreducible economies depend on the function of desire and how it can be drawn from the structure of the narrative. we can draw a sense of temporal continuity, reasoning brings the narrative to a halt only to point to its own function. When Sades libertines stop the persecution of their victims to deliver speeches about Enlightenment ideals and rationalism, they disrupt the narrative in two ways. To begin with, there is the obvious way in which the action is deferred by them. Also, and more intricately, the speeches double the violation of the victims; they are not only exposed to physical violence but also to the violence of reason. Deleuze shows how the reasoning, by not being shared but rather demonstrated to the listener/ victim, reflects the fact that pleasure does not have to be shared by the person from whom it is derived.10 Like the sexual violence it doubles it is in fact desirable that the victim/listener does not derive pleasure from the speeches. Accordingly, the demonstrative reason of Sades stories functions to double the narrative of physical violence. From a narrative point of view, the doubling reinforces the endless descriptions of transgressive and violent acts and endows Sades narratives with a rhythm of repetition rather than a dialectical development. In Sacher-Masoch, Deleuze shows, the pure demonstrative, instituting function of Sade is exchanged for a dialectical, mythical and persuasive function.11 Masochism is neither material nor moral, but essentially formal.12 The hesitant woman has to be coerced into her dominating function and made to perform according to the erotic fantasy of the masochist subject. She has to be transformed to correspond with the chilly beauty of a Venus statue. This takes time. But Severin, Wanda exclaims in Venus in Furs, do you believe me capable of maltreating a man who loves me as you do, and whom I love?13 The increasing violence of the narrative is possible on the conditions of a causal narrative through which reality is made to correspond to the masochist fantasy and the woman to the dominatrix ideal. One might say, then, that while the Sadean narrative depends on repetition and doubling, the classic masochist narrative relies on temporal causality and linearity. If Sades narratives function according to an economy of repetition and demonstrative reason,

narrative and time in sade and sacher-masoch

That the symptomatology of Deleuzes critical enterprise encourages and even relies on a close interrogation of the literary text can be clearly demonstrated by taking a closer look at his arguments for the separation of masochism and sadism. In Sade, Deleuze writes, the imperative and descriptive function of language transcends itself toward pure demonstrative, instituting function.7 This is a demonstration not of knowledge but of power. The libertines in Sades work, as Deleuze shows, reason with their victims, not to persuade or educate, but simply to demonstrate that reasoning itself is a form of violence.8 An awareness of Sades critical strategies also suggests that the recurrent libertine speeches are not meant to instruct the fictional listeners so much as the reader. Sades project, as Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer show, was to illustrate and take to the extreme the implications of Enlightenment, and in this way it is a very moral project in the midst of its blatant immorality.9 This way, one might say that it is the physical violence that doubles the reasoning rather than the other way around. It is the speeches that are the main narrative. In this view, the sexualized torture is just an illustration of the implications of the Enlightenment model of subjectivity and rationality. It is here, as many critics have shown, that we see most clearly Sades work as a critique of the contemporary belief in the nature of man and its link to practical reason. What happens in Sade, one may say, is that the narrative transforms reasoning as a dialectic process into an atemporal doubling of the narrative action. Narratively, reasoning aims not toward an argument and ultimately a synthesis but rather it aims back only at itself. Rather than supporting and promoting a narrative from which


tensions in deleuzian desire

Sacher-Masochs novels centre on deferral and agreement. But unlike the endless repetition of the body in Sade, there is something inescapably temporal and linear about the desire of the masochistic body. The masochistic body is suspended in time because the pain it experiences does not in itself constitute an immediate gratification but is rather a promise of what is yet to come. It is because pleasure is deferred that it becomes possible for Deleuze and Guattari to argue that the masochist remains within the realm of desire.14 The acts of waiting and suspension, as Sacher-Masochs work shows, are expressed through a coherent narrative that can incorporate the temporal form of indefinite delay. Even if the goal is suspended there is nevertheless a goal; it is, to speak in terms of the literary that Deleuze himself finds so central to masochism, a state of suspension that relies on a narrative development. of energies, a connectivity that does not try to cover up what is missing but is always in the process of creation. It is this conception of desire that makes it possible for them to question predetermined borders of the body, the subject, and, indeed, being itself, without ending up with dissolution or absence. Instead of drawing the contours of the individual body and explaining its desire to connect with other bodies in terms of a compensation for an inner lack, they point to desiring machines; assemblages created by a creative capacity to connect. In A Thousand Plateaus, the masochist is used as a way of explaining this open-endedness of desire. For Deleuze and Guattari, the masochist enables new openings for thought that are central not only to how we think about a particular perversion but also to how we approach ontological questions of becoming, bodies, and desire. Desire based on lack and the subject predetermines being according to social, familial, and political categories and thereby closes down the creative potential inherent in all life. Psychoanalysis, it is argued, confines every desire and statement to a genetic axis or overcoding structure, and makes infinite, monotonous tracings of the stages on that axis or the constituents of that structure.15 The masochist body, on the other hand, opens up the possibility of replacing psychoanalytic desire with openended and productive desire based on connectivity and suspension. As such, the masochist becomes a way of rethinking the delimiting notion of a unified body determined by a unidirectional desire with a body and desire in a continual and non-limitative process of creation. One of the central characteristics of masochism according to Reik, one of its earliest theorists, is the suspense factor, that is, a postponement of release that is intimately linked with the anxiety raised by the end-pleasure.16 Making use of this theory to suggest that masochism formally is a state of waiting, Deleuze finds in the masochist a desire that has no limit in that it is located in time itself rather than in the particular moment of fulfilment.17 Desire is not limited to personal desire but is a positive force of all creation.18 Pleasure, on the other hand, is an affection of a person or a subject. Pleasure, in fact, is the

masochism and desire

Assuming that Deleuze is right about the centrality of the formal in masochism, and assuming that his critical approach is valid, then the structure of the narrative is central to how we may understand masochism and the desire it transfigures. To be able to appreciate the philosophical problems that arise with Deleuzes critical reliance on the narrative and hence the formal construction of masochistic desire in Coldness and Cruelty we need to understand how the narrative economy outlined in this text chafes against the economy as well as the implications of desire in Deleuze and Guattaris philosophy. Deleuze and Guattari free desire from its psychoanalytical links with goals and lack and instead position desire as open ended and productive. Reconsidering the focus on the goal, and thereby on a specific directionality of desire, makes it possible for them to rethink the notion that desire is based on lack. It also enables them to free desire from a particular subject position for whom this lack would be perceived as reality. Rethinking desire thus becomes a way of rethinking the notions of subjectivity as well as the body. Rather than presenting a desire based on lack, they offer desire as a productive coupling


only way for persons to find themselves in the process of desire that exceeds them.19 Thereby, pleasure becomes the termination of desire; it effects what Deleuze and Guattari call a reterritorialization, a closing down of desire by subjectification. As Deleuze writes in Two Regimes of Madness:
I cannot give any positive value to pleasure because it seems to interrupt the immanent process of desire. Pleasure seems to me to be on the side of strata and organization . . . I tell myself that it is no coincidence if Michel [Foucault] emphasizes Sade, and I, on the contrary, Masoch.20

If pleasure puts an end to desire, then the postponement of pleasure in the singular waiting of the masochist is thus an ideal instantiation of desire as untied from pleasure. As Deleuze and Guattari put it, the masochists suffering is the price he must pay, not to achieve pleasure, but to untie the pseudobond between desire and pleasure as an extrinsic measure.21 In A Thousand Plateaus, one of the most essential characteristics of desire is not only that it is openended but also that it is all over. As such, the masochistic body is used to discuss the Body without Organs (BwO). The BwO is the Artaudian concept that Deleuze and Guattari evoke to question the notion of the body as determined according to its internal and predetermined organization in terms of organs rather than in its connective potential. The BwO does not pre-exist experience but is made up only of the intensities that pass through it.22 In Deleuze and Guattaris writing, the body of the masochist is activated to think the BwO because the pain of the masochist, they argue, creates a body of pure intensities. Negotiated into a flow of pure pain, the masochist body becomes a desiring machine. The idea of lack is suspended along with the body through this desire, the body escapes subjectification (or facialization as they call it) and becomes pure event. The role of the masochist in A Thousand Plateaus thus clearly functions to effect the notion of a multidirectional desire. Arguably, then, the masochist serves not only as a means to illustrate a philosophical argument but the economy of this perversion

helps to free thought from the subject and desire from its teleological endpoint. The possibility of thinking open-ended productive desire through the figure of the masochist is complicated, however, by the temporal form of masochism that Deleuze identifies in Coldness and Cruelty. In fact, between Coldness and Cruelty and A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuzes use of masochism seems to point to two different kinds of temporalities with two different sets of implications for the concept of desire. In Coldness and Cruelty, he argues that the pain and humiliation of the masochist is incomprehensible if we do not relate it to the temporal form that makes it possible.23 This temporal form is about the immediate experience of pain, not as pleasure in itself, but pain as a sign of the indefinite arrival of pleasure. Even if the waiting of the masochist thus by definition postpones the pleasure that would put an end to desire, does not this temporal form nonetheless suggest a teleology of desire? If we take a closer look at the temporal form of the masochist in Coldness and Cruelty it suggests a desire that, although it may not have a definitive end, is nonetheless unidirectional. This proposition is underscored by the recurrent argument that the male masochist does not, in fact, relent his organizing power but evinces, rather, a very strong sense of subjectivity. The link between masochism and subjectivity has been explored by a number of modern critics. As Marianne Noble notes, theorists such as George Bataille, Roy Baumeister, Leo Bersani, Nick Mansfield, and Julia Kristeva have in different ways pointed to a masochist shattering of the self as a striving toward ecstatic merging with the other, with totality, or death.24 A perceived imprisonment in structures of the modern self causes a violent attack on this self in order to expand beyond it, a longing, in the case of Kristeva, to shatter the boundaries of the self in order to remerge with totality in a state of ecstatic non-identity.25 Mansfield suggests that this transgression of borders between self and other makes the masochist strive to incorporate self and other as the structural logic of a sort of total subject.26 Mansfield builds on the notion that the masochist is in one sense annexing the


tensions in deleuzian desire

subjectivity of his torturer. In this understanding, the (male) masochist in no way surrenders his power to the person who dominates, tortures, and humiliates him but, quite the contrary, he manifests the power of his subjectivity by teaching, and sometimes coercing, the dominant how to treat him. Power is thus only seemingly placed with the figure of dominance while all the while remaining with the masochist. As Mansfield puts it, the masochist cajoles and manipulates his partner into expressing a desire he himself has constructed for her.27 Similarly, Deleuze notes how the masochist contract points not only to the consent of the masochist but his pedagogical and judicial efforts to train his torturer.28 This is most famously exemplified in Venus in Furs where Severin instructs the initially confounded Wanda according to his demands for her dominance and makes her into the cold Venus of his dreams and desire. I shall try, she surrenders, to be Venus in Furs.29 In this shape, then, the masochist asserts rather than abandons his subject position. Mansfield notes how this masochist does not simply dominate and control the desire of the other. Even on its own, the power of the masochist over his torturer, his training and even annexation of the torturers desire suggests an extraordinarily powerful subjectivity. Moulding this forceful subjectivity in the temporal form of masochism suggested by Deleuze, a strong, and unidirectional subject position appears. The subjective determination and strictly structured temporality of the male masochist reveals masochism as an art of power, as Mansfield puts it. Even if the desire of the masochist, most famously positioned under the boot of the woman in furs and under the shadow of the whip, is postponed, it is not, in fact, liberated through this act since it still finds its answer in the whip or the heel of the boot; the trajectory of the whip is already decided just as the masochist himself has selected the sharpness of the heel. We can now begin to see the tensions that arise when we try to make use of the masochist to rethink desire and its intimate association with temporality through Deleuzes critical project. Is the open-ended but temporal form of the masochist in Coldness and Cruelty comparable to the open-ended multidirectional desire in the masochist of A Thousand Plateaus? There are ways, it seems, in which the masochism outlined in Deleuzes essay on Sacher-Masoch is not the dissolution of the body into the BwO as much as it is the complete failure of escaping the subject position. The notion of masochism as developed by Deleuze thus creates problems for his notion of desire and the rethinking of the body and subjectivity. This is clearly linked to the tensions between unidirectional and multidirectional desire and how they are structured through the temporal structure suggested in the literary narrative. But what happens to our understanding of masochism if we accept Deleuzes premises of the symptomology of masochism as a critical practice but look rather at literary works about female masochism?

a critical approach to female masochism

While male masochism has been addressed as a theoretical challenge to temporality and being, female masochism has travelled less far from the clinical, and primarily Freudian, link between masochism and female passivity and sexual submissiveness. Between them, the writings of Krafft-Ebing, Reik, Freud, and Deleuze have caused a different symptomatology between male and female masochism. Kaja Silverman notes the curious fact that Freud follows up his famous comment on the accessibility of female masochism with a discussion limited to male patients. Krafft-Ebings, Reiks, and Deleuzes later studies of masochism have all focused on male masochism. Silverman suggests that this privileging of male masochism is indicative of how only masochism has been seen as pathological while it has been taken as a normal element of female subjectivity.30 For Reik, for example, a masochistic woman does not really surpass her regular subjective limits while a male masochist moves into the enemy terrain of femininity.31 Most subsequent critical interrogations of masochism have also been gendered and separated. In an article that was to greatly influence Freud, Helene Deutsch discusses femininity as the feminine, passive-masochistic disposition in the mental life


of women.32 Making the important distinction between the feminine and the female, Freuds argument that the masochistic phantasy puts the subject in a characteristically female situation and that this female situation is passive and based on lack, it is about castration and being copulated with has arguably engendered an association between female passivity and the passivity commonly ascribed the masochist that later studies have had problems shaking.33 Although Deutschs as well as Freuds associations between femininity and masochism have been questioned, there seems to linger a tension in how we think about female masochism. On the one hand, arguments that women are somehow masochistic as part of their sexuality or even psyche are no longer very persuasive. In fact, already in 1957, Rudolph M. Loewenstein argued that, although masochism is much more common in women than in men, the equation between female sexuality and masochism is problematic and does not solve any problems in how we think about masochism.34 On the other hand, the act of passivity and surrender of subjectivity has continued to be perceived as highly problematical in the case of female masochism. The considerable variation in critical approaches is suggestive of the difficulties of coming to terms with the idea of female submissiveness in modernity. As Rita Felski points out, the critical response to female masochism includes propositions such as masochism is a natural urge in women: epitomizes womens oppression under patriarchy; is an empowering form of sexual experimentation; does not exist.35 The uncomfortable association of the traits of the masochist and traditional definitions of the feminine has strongly influenced the fact that approaches to female masochism have tended toward the psychoanalytical and clinical. Feminist scholars, Felski notes, have largely relied on psychoanalytical theory. The gendered symptomatology of masochism finds its most famous and arguably most influential source in Freuds famous declaration in The Economic Problem of Masochism that feminine masochism is both the most accessible as well as the least problematical; it can be surveyed in all its relations.36 Paula Caplan suggests that the idea of masochism as a natural part of the female psyche and sexuality is based on two misunderstandings. The first is the biological and later psychoanalytical view that stems from KrafftEbings idea of an instinctive inclination and voluntary subjection of the female physiological and sexual set-up. The second is the misreading whereby womens adaptation to unequal social conditions is taken as natural behaviour.37 Belonging to a second-wave feminism that strongly questioned the idea of masochism as a natural female condition, Caplan points to numerous readings that consider female masochism as an extension of normative female behaviour. Judith Bardwick and Clara Thompson in different ways consider masochism as a way for women to adapt to pain and the restriction of their aggression and sexuality, and Jessie Bernard and Nancy Chodorow theorize how society shapes womens acceptance of selfnegation and sacrifice. A learned behaviour, Caplan writes, is thereby taken as proof of natural masochism in women.38 The notion of female masochism, Caplan concludes, does women an immense disservice as it constitutes a misreading of the female condition and a misplacement of political agency. Similarly, Frigga Haug suggests that womens masochism simply describes their efforts to accept [their] situation, and the fairytale which transforms such efforts into an essential quality of women is intended to have the function of reassuring us that defects in society can be resolved in womens characters.39 Jessica Benjamin agrees with Caplan in the cultural determination of the association of femininity and masochism but points out that she completely fails to take account of the pleasurable and erotic dimensions of masochism. Arguing from her psychoanalytical perspective, Benjamin notes that Cultural myths and labels still do not explain how the essence of trained femininity gets into womens heads and is there converted into pleasurable fantasies of erotic submission.40 These critical responses to masochism constitute a prime example of how the thematic and the clinical have been linked in responses to female masochism and how both the social and


tensions in deleuzian desire

psychoanalytical understandings have remained within a discourse of the clinical. What happens if we move away from psychoanalytical approaches to masochism and accept Deleuzes premises of the symptomology of masochism as a critical practice but direct our attention to literary works about female masochism? Are there ways in which a symptomology of female masochism can be not only a way of readdressing the forms of female masochism but also a way of rethinking the problem of time and desire in Deleuze? Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly notes that the possibility of a feminine masochism, with gender specificity for women, has not quite been laid to rest.41 She also points out that there is a persuasive fascination with sexual submission and humiliation in womens fiction from Charlotte Bronte to Alice Munro. Arguably, ages Story of O is the most famous literary Re text about female masochism. In her review of the novel, which took the shape of an enraged attack on its gendered implications, Andrea Dworkin writes that the sado-masochistic complexion of O is not trivial it is formulated as a cosmic principle which articulates, absolutely, the feminine.42 O, she argues, is a clear mythological figure: she is a woman, and to name her O, zero, emptiness, says it all.43 Story of O is more than simply pornography, Dworkin insists, because it claims to define epistemologically what a woman is.44 The passivity linked with masochism has been seen to correspond more to a classic female problem of giving up subjectivity to rest in the stronger one of the dominant gender. This way, the masochism of O would appear as a symptomatology of the female inaccessibility to the subject position in the first place. Benjamin, for example, suggests that O gives her self up in order to gain access to the more powerful subjectivity of the man. Her sacrifice, Benjamin argues, creates the masters power, produces his coherent self, in which she can take refuge.45 At the same time, Benjamin has been criticized for reconfirming the Freudian link between masochism and women. Noble argues that Benjamins psychoanalytic reading of masochism virtually fuses masochistic desire with the female subject position in modern Western society.46 The intellectual debate over the question of female agency in Story of O, Michell Ward notes, is indicative of the question of whether the (particularly female in this case) masochist should be seen as an agent or as a victim.47 While Dworkins argument points to O as the incarnation of womens victimization, Susan Sontag suggests that O is profoundly active in her own passivity.48 But what happens if we let go, for a moment, of both the clinical and social approaches to female masochism in general and Story of O in particular and borrow, instead, Deleuzes critical approach? Story of O threatens to undermine Deleuzes distinction between sadism and masochism. It has even been used as a prime example of sadomaso ages text as a chism by Benjamin who sees Re web in which the issues of dependency and domination are inextricably intertwined.49 The masochistic temporality of deferment that is so important to Deleuze has different implications if we accept the sadomasochistic argument. Here Benjamin offers a Hegelian understanding of the temporal development in Story of O. Hegels famous masterslave dialectic shows how the hierarchal roles of dominance and submission are under constant threat of reversal. The slaves surrender to the master in the struggle for domination is ultimately making him the stronger one; not only has he stared death in the face, his service to the master gradually makes the master depend on him. The master, furthermore, is weakened by his awareness of the fact that the recognition he demands from the slave is based on power rather than genuine recognition. Benjamin shows how the narrative of Story of O is developed in line with this logic. The dialectic shows how a slave who is completely vanquished is no longer able to give the master the recognition he craves. According to this logic, the possession of O must be, and is, prolonged. The story, Benjamin writes, is driven forward by the dialectic of control.50 The importance of the masochistic prolongation and deferment acquires a slightly different meaning if we discuss it in terms of such dialectic. The temporal deferral that enables the open-ended desire that in turn harbours the potential of escaping the subject position in Deleuze and Guattaris figure of the masochist becomes, in its dialectical


interpretation, a reinforcement in the Hegelian power struggle over subjectivity itself. From this Hegelian perspective, both the thematics and the temporal structure of Story of O threaten to collapse Deleuzes distinction between sadism and masochism. I would argue, ages story could equally be however, that Re understood as following the temporal structure of masochistic waiting that Deleuze ascribes to Sacher-Masochs writing, and thus masochism, specifically. Like Severin in Venus in Furs, ages protagonist is left chained up, she is Re left in darkness, in various humiliating positions, waiting indefinitely. Story of O begins when the independent fashion photographer O is taken in a taxi by her lover toward an unknown destination. She is taken to a chateau at Roissy to become a sexual slave. O is told to wait naked for her lover, she is kept locked up in dark cellars, she is kept chained in her room and told always to expect pain. The awaited pleasure for O the gratification which makes her pain meaningful is the and later of Sir returned love, first of Rene Stephen. Even if Os pleasure is deferred and indeed, it is postponed indefinitely when the novel ends with O being left at Roissy in the uncertainty of Sir Stephen ever returning pleasure is there to structure her desire. This means that even if desire is maintained, it is channelled in a specific direction and kept within the realm of the subject. Even if it is open ended, the pain, the waiting and the pleasure to come produce a unidirectional temporal arch in which a coherent subject and body can be maintained. The masochist narrative that confirms the temporality of deferment as explicated by Reik and Deleuze is thus present in Story of O. ages novel The masochistic body of O in Re experiences pain as pleasure because it constitutes a deceptive and temporary relief of desire. In line with Reiks earlier note that it is not the pain that is pleasurable to the masochist but the anxiety of its possible execution,51 Deleuze and Guattari argue that the notion that the masochist experiences pain as pleasure is inaccurate. The point for the masochist, they maintain, is to consistently defer pleasure.52 The pleasure that O seems to find in her pain is a proof that her lover , and later Sir Stephen, still wants her. It is Rene only under the lash or beneath the heavy body of an unknown man that she finds herself, that she becomes someone who can be loved. This love that she craves is not the love of any man her and love is exclusively bestowed first on Rene then Sir Stephen. Accordingly, she is not simply a masochistic, objectified body but a subject who chooses abuse and objectification as part of a game of love. This becomes obvious when she is shocked to discover that her lover fulfils his objectification of her and actually treats her like a piece of furniture.53 She realizes that she had not quite believed him, that she had placed his acts of degradation within the realm of mutual love. This means that even if it ultimately fails, Os masochism has an agenda. She works to maintain the love of the men she herself desires. The crucial point here is that there is a narrative and a subject according to which pain and pleasure make sense, albeit in a perverted way. Even if Os desire cannot be assuaged even with the increasing intensity of her torture and degradation, the pain constitutes for her proof of her own, admittedly problematic, agency. I would like to suggest that because O is part of a narrative, a narrative that places her in a position where her masochism does have a purpose and Sir Stephen), it is possible (to please Rene to see O as a subject and her pain as pleasure. In other words, O can be seen as a subject because the narrative identifies and describes a pleasure in her pain. On her first night at Roissy, and after her first whipping, she ponders why there was so much sweetness mingled with the terror in her or why her terror seemed itself so sweet.54 What troubles her more than the whipping is that she has not been able to identify her lover among the many men that had taken her earlier in the evening.55 Her feelings centre completely on Rene and she wants her pain to be part of her expression of love for him. Accordingly, the narrative conducts a twofold identification of O. Not only does it construct her as a subject through the unfolding of her character through her thoughts and actions but also it constructs her as an embodied subject by accounting for her pain within a narrative framework. It seems, then, that three possible models of ages novel. female masochism emerge with Re


tensions in deleuzian desire

The first one reads O as a sign of womanhood, be it based on a natural inclination or societal pressures. This model relates O to historical behavioural patterns of female sexuality and subjectivity. According to this model, Story of O can be read either as proof or as a critique of the subordination of female sexuality and subjectivity. Dworkins indignation, as we have ages seen, was based on her experiencing Re novel as laying claim to a universal principle of what constitutes a woman. Sontag, on the other hand, finds in Story of O an element of parody; Story of O fits almost too well with the symptomatology that equates female sexuality and subjectivity with masochism. Like Dworkin, she reads Story of O as portraying the gradual process of making O as empty as her name. O increasingly becomes more what she is, a process identical with the emptying out of herself.56 While Sontag does not position her reading of masochism in relation to the early Freudian discourse and while her article pre-dates ages novel, her approach Dworkins attack on Re points directly to a recurrent symptomatology of female masochism. O, she suggests, can be read as a cartoon of her sex, not her individual sex but simply woman; it also stands for nothing.57 The second model of masochism appearing through Story of O is the influential Hegelian reading offered by Benjamin. Here, a theorization of the temporality as a crucial component of the symptomatology of female masochism begins to emerge. Benjamin shows how Os suffering needs to be prolonged and the complete erasure of her subjectivity deferred in order for the dialectics of recognition and enslavement to function. Read dialectically, the temporal deferral of the masochists complete surrender is related to the masters continued need to be recognized as such. This way, one might say, the temporality of masochism depends on the needs of the master rather than the slave. The third model is the Deleuzian one based on a deferral and postponement that keeps desire open-ended. Deferring pleasure endlessly means deferring endlessly the endpoint of desire. While complicating Deleuzes distinction between sadism and masochism, Story of O follows this temporal pattern and, indeed, improves on the theory. In Venus in Furs, Sacher-Masochs Severin is ultimately cured of his masochistic inclinations.58 Furthermore, the final paragraphs are suggestive of the reversal of sadism and masochism that Deleuze so vehemently denies in his theory of masochism. I was a fool, Severin states, If only I had whipped her instead.59 ages novel, however, suggests neither cure nor Re reversal. Furthermore, with an ending that leaves both O and the reader in a state of suspension does O stay at Roissy? Does she die? Does she go ages home? Does Sir Stephen ever return? Re novel more appropriately stages the infinite deferral of an endpoint or pleasure. In response to these three models, I would like to suggest that whether we understand Story of O as a comment on female subordination, in terms of dialectics, or postponement, we still end up with a unified direction of desire, a direction that is firmly connected with a desiring subject and that is therefore at odds with the deterritorializing function of desire in A Thousand Plateaus. Whether we focus on the male masochism of Sacher-Masoch or the female masochism of age, on Hegel or Deleuze, the temporality of Re masochism seems to rely on an admittedly different but yet equally determined teleology of desire. The temporal form is fixed and easily identifiable, and from a formal point of view this similarity is more important than both the differentiation between sadism and masochism and between male and female masochism. ages novel provides a fruitful point of Re comparison in relation to Deleuze, but it does not provide a way of readdressing the tensions in Deleuzian desire. The male and the female masochist are both stuck in an economy of a unified subjectivity because desire is fixed in a unidirectional temporality. Whatever happened to difference? If all the prior models of masochism are insufficient to do justice to Deleuze and Guattaris idea of the figure of the masochist as a means of liberating desire and constructing a BwO, this means that we need either to discard the literary approach or find a more constructive literary model. In the beginning of this article I suggested that the tensions that emerge from Deleuzes conception and elaboration of masochism and


temporality are brought out by the directionality and open-endedness of masochistic desire respectively. As I have tried to show so far, the postponement of desire that is integral to Deleuzes understanding of masochism in Coldness and Cruelty is suggestive of a directionality of desire and a strong subjectivity. This model is thus at odds with the open-ended desire of the masochist as a BwO in Deleuze and Guattari. The BwO is a productive desiring machine that multiplies connections and that, while not in opposition to subjectivity, functions by means of experimentation, it is a practice of removing the phantasy, significances and subjectifications that keeps the subject in place and desire in check.60 According to Deleuze and Guattari, the virtue of the masochist lies in a deferral of pleasure and thereby a retention of desire. Pleasure is a termination of desire that effects a reterritorialization, a closing down of desire by subjectification, but the masochists deferral of pleasure through suspension and indefinite waiting, in their view, effects a deterritorialization of the subject. As I suggested above, the deferral of desire as part of a temporal narrative retains the idea of pleasure, or the end-pleasure as Reik puts it, as an ultimate goal. It would seem, then, that in order for masochism to really become the figure that liberates the subject and the body, one needs not just to defer pleasure but to remove it as a possibility. One needs to remove the goal which would make desire temporal. Using her famous strategy of what has been called everything from intertextuality to pirating to plagiarism, Kathy Acker includes parts of ages text in her novel Great Expectations. In Re this novel, Acker moves through Story of O and teau over the course its sequel Return to the Cha of sixteen pages.61 Repeating the taxi ride that ages novel, takes O to Roissy in the opening of Re the section ends with the very last words of ages second book. Acker lifts single sentences Re ages story and rejects and paragraphs from Re but leaves out the coherence of the original narrative. Almost exclusively, it is the fragments of the text that describe perverse and impersonalized sexual activities that are repeated. Acker ages thereby takes on the masochistic body of Re story while robbing it of the teleology of pleasure. Ackers novel thereby offers a way of exploding the limitations of a unidirectional temporality. Great Expectations is hardly ever mentioned in relation to its masochist theme, and yet this is the novel in which Ackers portrayal of masochism has its greatest revolutionary potential. As if to prove the strong link between masochism and temporally coherent narrative, the pervasive theme of masochism in Ackers work is noted mainly in relation to her more coherent narratives (see, for example, Redding and Ward). Critics have recognized that masochism recurs in nearly all Ackers protagonists and courses through her prose like a virus62 and even that Ackers fictions are always about masochism.63 Most interpretations of the theme of masochism in Acker focus on novels such as Don Quixote, Empire of the Senseless, and Blood and Guts in High School, that is, on texts that, although they are frequently fragmented, nonetheless offer the presence of a narrative framework that makes it possible to interpret bodies and their desires in time. There is, in other words, some kind of temporal development of masochistic desire. In both Blood and Guts in High School and Empire of the Senseless the masochism of the female protagonists is linked back to their incestuous and violent childhoods and masochism becomes a way for them to control their pain. Arthur Redding argues that masochism in Acker is familial and is caused by the internalization of an abject image of the self.64 His concise summary of Ackers masochistic thematic evinces this quite clearly: Rape by the father, the mothers suicide, the structural limits of the oedipal triangle overdetermine the masochistic nature of Ackers protagonists.65 While obviously critical in the sense of its literary symptomatology, Reddings analysis is suggestive of how female masochism tends to be framed by clinical interpretation in the sense that masochism is explored as a thematic, psychoanalytic narrative. These previous psychoanalytic readings of Ackers works have put too narrow a focus on the clinical much in the same way as such readings of Sacher-Masochs and Sades work have done, according to Deleuze. Deleuze argues that it is exactly the disregard of the literary, that


tensions in deleuzian desire

is, the narrative techniques and the role of descriptive functions, that makes it possible for psychoanalytic theory to invent the faulty notion of sadomasochism. In demonstrating how this entity can be questioned by a literary approach, Deleuze not only points to the irreducible natures of sadism and masochism but also makes a strong case for his critical and clinical project: The critical (in the literary sense) and the clinical (in the medical sense) may be destined to enter into a new relationship of mutual learning.66 But while Deleuzes reading enforces an important revision of the sadomasochistic entity, and introduces a critical revision of symptomatology, his reading of Sacher-Masochs narratives in terms of temporality and desire, as I have already noted, leaves the concept of the masochist itself in trouble. A critical symptomatology of Ackers text, on the other hand, opens the possibility of addressing the tension between the masochist temporality of postponement in Coldness and Cruelty and the masochist as a liberation of desire in A Thousand Plateaus. Great Expectations is Ackers most fragmented work and it lacks the narrative development of masochistic protagonists present in her other texts. The disjunctive spaces of Great Expectations do not easily organize themselves into a representation of the masochistic process suggested in Ackers other novels, as well as in Sacher-Masochs texts and Story of O. When Ackers novel presents masochist bodies but does not offer a temporal framework, or as Deleuze puts it a temporal form for a masochistic subject to crystallize, it opens a way of readdressing the problem of time and desire that arises with the concept of the masochist in Deleuzes philosophy. Often, Ackers strategy entails exchanging the narrative framework for sets of piled-up sentences with spaces in between.
His knees stick into her face. He explains to her shes not going to know. His strong arm pulling on her arms is lifting her to her feet. He shows her his whip.67

for the movement beyond the limitations of the body and beyond the I, which posits the masochist as a more radical liberation offered through Ackers text. When Acker takes sections from Story of O but leaves out the description of ages O into a thoughts and feelings that make Re clearly defined if deteriorating subject, Ackers characters remain largely unidentifiable and destabilized in terms of identity as well as gender. In Story of O, one of the rules meant to de-subjectify the women at Roissy is a prohibition to look the men in the eye. In Acker, this is expressed differently:
He is saying that it no longer matters what she thinks and what her choices are. He is saying that he is the perfect mirror of her real desire and she is making him that way. His eyes are not daring to meet her eyes. He is walking back and down and in front of her.68

The fragmented narrative also puts out of play a sense of continuous temporality. The idea of a desire that exists outside linear temporality opens

As we can see, the fragments that Acker has taken ages text dislocate the identification of from Re the body of desire and the desired body and thereby deny the pleasure that would make characters find themselves. Deleuzes symptomatology of masochism, as we recall, is largely a matter of structure. It is the element of postponement in Sacher-Masochs literary texts that enables his theory of masochism; the deferment of the end-pleasure makes masochist desire indefinite. Combined with her disenabling of a temporal form of masochistic desire Acker not only postpones but also remove the prospects of an end-pleasure altogether. This means that desire in Great Expectations cannot be translated into subjectified pleasure. Instead, characters and readers are left at the mercy of impersonalized desire. Robert Glu ck suggests that in the sexuality of Ackers heroines [i]t is pleasure happening, not the self.69 In the light of our earlier discussion of the difference between pleasure and desire, I would like to adjust this wording slightly and suggest that in Great Expectations it is desire happening, not subjectivity. More specifically, it is masochistic desire happening, not a masochist subject. Desire in Ackers text is constructed through the disjunctive repetition and perversion of


ages novel. Pain is not made to make sense Re through narrative justifications. Pain is left insensible, outside subjectivity. This, I would suggest, is also what the text conveys when it asks [i]f there are an infinite number of non-relating events, wheres the relation that enables pain?70 As opposed to subjectivity, Deleuze writes, desire is an event, not a thing or a person.71 In Ackers text, events are non-relating because there is no narrative to tie them together. Without narrative, there can be no pleasure and no definitive subject. The masochistic pain emerges from the very exposure to the event that has no narrative justification. The phantasy, significances and subjectifications that keep desire imprisoned are thereby exchanged for multiple connections and a masochistic subject is exchanged for a productive and multidirectional desiring machine; a BwO. The masochist, Deleuze argues, does not believe in negating or destroying the world: what he does is to disavow and thus to suspend it, in order to secure an ideal which is itself suspended in fantasy.72 In Great Expectations, two detached sentences follow one another Im a masochist and This is a real revolution.73 The real revolution of masochism in Ackers text is the notion of a masochism that it not working to negate or destroy the world, but is neither the creation of a fantasy that suspends reality. It is the abandonment of coherent narrative that makes either of these possible. Acker is not creating a fantasy either for her characters or for her readers to indulge in. She is separating masochism from fantasy, from subjectivity and she is informing it with the eroticism of a body that is not objectified so much as it is freed from subjectification. Her fragmented sections do not provide any narrative justification of the masochistic relations they describe. There is no agenda, so to speak, according to which the pain attains a purpose. Who is waiting for pleasure and what would that pleasure be? Without a clear subject and the idea of a future pleasure, the linear temporality in which waiting would make sense is annulled. Because masochism is portrayed through repetition and disjunction, both subject and body are opened toward difference and indetermination. Great Expectations thus offers a masochist thematic but withholds the narrative framework that would disenable the possibility of pleasure even as an indefinite element of the masochistic striving. In this way, desire is not only kept indefinite but is kept open as a possibility beyond the temporal subject. I have suggested in this article that the figure of the masochist reveals some tensions in the Deleuzian conception of desire. Although Deleuze and Guattaris project is very much a move away from the conventional notion of subjectivity, it seems that Deleuzes earlier reading of masochism in Coldness and Cruelty relies quite heavily on the idea of a conventional subject. Even if the masochistic body is a rejection of the permanent identification and signification of the body the standstill that pleasure would entail the temporality which according to Deleuze is a requirement for the retention of masochistic desire suggests a masochistic subject. There must be a subject, and I would even venture to say a fairly coherent, temporal subject, to perceive and also determinedly organize the waiting and the suspension of pleasure. This is confirmed in Sacher-Masochs work as well as in Story of O. Because the masochist is part of a coherent narrative of gradual development, masochism is placed within the temporality of the suspension of pleasure and thus, I have suggested, in a trajectory that originates in a subject. Both Severin and O can be seen as temporal subjects because they choose pain as a means, a prerequisite to attain pleasure. This means that not only do these narratives construct masochist subjects but they also construct them as embodied and unified subjects by accounting for their pain and suspension within a temporal form. There is a sense, then, in which the masochist economy of waiting seems to anticipate or even depend upon a narrative of temporal continuity. In Great Expectations, on the other hand, there is no narrative according to which the pain could be seen as part of the pleasure of the masochistic body. This impersonalized desire does not relate back to the subject or pleasure. Great Expectations thus offers an impersonal desire that does not relate back to a specific body


tensions in deleuzian desire

and its (anticipated) pleasure. It seems, therefore, as if a critical symptomatology of Ackers female masochism allows for the liberating of desire that Deleuze and Guattari seek in A Thousand Plateaus. Although their explication of the masochist body as a deterritorialization of the body makes sense, the connective desire that explodes the limits of the stratified body and subject risks being deterritorialized by the temporal form which Deleuze ascribes to it. It is, as we have seen, the goal that has to be deferred, both in Reiks and Deleuzes understanding of masochism. Ackers text opens for a BwO by constructing a masochism for which desire truly moves without goal. At the same time, it also opens for new readings of female masochism, neither in terms of gender oppression nor in terms of psychoanalytic theory, but in terms of a truly revolutionary critical practice.
7 Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and Cruelty in Masochism, trans. J. McNeil (New York: Zone, 1991) 23. 8 Ibid.18. 9 Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2002) xvi. 10 Ibid.19. 11 Deleuze 23. 12 Ibid. 74. 13 Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs, in Masochism, trans. J. McNeil (New York: Zone, 1991) 172. 14 Gilles Deleuze and Fe lix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (London and New Y ork: Continuum, 2004) 172. 15 Ibid.14. 16 Theodor Reik, The Characteristics of Masochism (An Excerpt) in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New Y ork and London: New Y ork UP,1995) 335. 17 Deleuze 71. 18 Ibid.183. 19 Deleuze and Guattari 173. 20 Gilles Deleuze, Two Regimes of Madness: Texts and Interviews 1975^1995, ed. David Lapoujade; trans. Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina (New Y ork: Semiotext(e), 2006) 130 ^31 . 21 Gilles Deleuze and Fe lix Guattari, What is Philosophy?, trans. Graham Burchell and Hugh Tomlinson (London and NewYork:Verso,1994) 171. 22 Ibid.169. 23 Deleuze, Coldness Masochism 71. and Cruelty in

1 Daniel W. Smith, Introduction. A Life of Pure Immanence: Deleuzes Critique et Clinique Project in Gilles Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P,1997) xi. 2 Ibid. xix. 3 I owe much of this explication of Deleuzes strategy of symptomatology to Smiths excellent introduction. 4 Freud also makes a tentative link between masochism and literature when he points to how literary texts stimulate beating-phantasies in children. Sigmund Freud,A Child is Being Beaten: A Contribution to the Study of the Origin of Sexual Perversions in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New Y ork and London: New York UP,1995) 160. 5 Barbara Mennel,The Literary Perversion: The Invention of Masochism at the Fin-de-Sie ' cle in The Representation of Masochism and Queer Desire in Film and Literature (New Y ork: Palgrave, 2007) 11^36 (11). 6 Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis. With Special Reference to Contrary Sexual Instinct: A Clinical-Forensic Study [1886], trans. Franklin S. Klaf (Burbank: Bloat,1999) 86.

24 Marianne Noble, The Masochistic Pleasures of Sentimental Literature (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000) 72^73. 25 Ibid. 73. 26 Nick Mansfield, Masochism: The Art of Power (Westport: Praeger,1997) 8. 27 Ibid. ix.


28 Ibid. 75. 29 Sacher-Masoch 195. 30 Kaja Silverman, Male Subjectivity at the Margins (New Y ork and London: Routledge, 1992) 189. 31 Ibid.190. 32 Helene Deutsch, The Significance of Masochism in the Mental Life of Women in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New Y ork and London: New York UP,1995) 412. 33 Sigmund Freud, The Economic Problem of Masochism, trans. James Strachey, in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New Y ork and London: New York UP,1995) 277 . 34 Rudolph M. Loewenstein, A Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Theory of Masochism in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New Y ork and London: New York UP,1995) 44. 35 Rita Felski, Redescriptions of Female Masochism, Minnesota Review 63^ 64 (spring 2005): 127^ 41. 36 Freud,The Economic Problem 276. 37 Paula J. Caplan, The Myth of Womens Masochism, American Psychologist 39.2 (1984): 130 ^39 (135). 38 Ibid.134. 39 Frigga Haug, Beyond Female Masochism: Memory-Work and Politics, trans. Rodney Livingstone (London and New York: Verso, 1992) 85. 40 Jessica Benjamin, The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination (New York: Pantheon,1988) 81. 41 Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly,Introduction in Essential Papers on Masochism, ed. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly (New Y ork and London: New York UP,1995) 406. 42 Andrea Dworkin,Woman as Victim: Story of O, Feminist Studies 2.1 (1974) 107 . 43 Ibid.108. 44 Ibid.107 . 45 Benjamin 61. 46 Noble 16. 47 Michell Ward, Empowerment in Chains: Exploring the Liberatory Potential of Masochism, eSharp 6.1 (2005): 3. 48 Quoted in ibid. 2. 49 Benjamin 55. 50 Ibid. 58. 51 Reik 326. 52 Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus 171^72. 53 Pauline Re age, Story of O, trans. Sabine dEstree (New Y ork: Ballantine,1965) 81. 54 Ibid. 22. 55 Ibid. 23. 56 Susan Sontag,The Pornographic Imagination in A Sontag Reader (New Y ork: Farrar,1982) 220. 57 Ibid. 58 Sacher-Masoch 271. 59 Ibid. 60 Deleuze Plateaus 168. and Guattari, A Thousand

61 This section in Acker runs from pages 38 to 54. 62 Arthur Redding, Bruises, Roses: Masochism and the Writing of Kathy Acker, Contemporary Literature 35.2 (1994) 285. 63 Martina Sciolino, Confessions of a Kleptoparasite, Review of Contemporary Fiction 9.3 (1989) 63. 64 Redding 285. 65 Ibid. 286. 66 Deleuze, Coldness Masochism 14. 67 Acker 39. 68 Ibid. 40. 69 Robert Glu ck, The Greatness of Kathy Acker in Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker, eds. Amy Scholder, Carla Harryman and Avital Ronell (London and New York: Verso, 2006) 147 . and Cruelty in


tensions in deleuzian desire

70 Acker 67 . 71 Deleuze, Two Regimes of Madness 130 ^31. 72 Deleuze,Coldness and Cruelty in Masochism 32^33. 73 Acker 52.

Frida Beckman Department of English Uppsala University Box 527 SE-751 20 Uppsala Sweden E-mail:

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