Either way, feminist detective fiction strategically appropriates or redefines the textual space of the 'I', interrogating and reworking the cultural designation of masculine subjectivity: the heroine's job, after all is to watch and to gain knowledge: her scopophilia and epistemophilia
are important, perhaps even central, aspects of her feminism.
This could be the lesson here from Mary: the danger of epistemophilia does not lie in knowledge, but in the prodigious power of the impulsive energy which supports it, which is likely to convert the otherness on which we are based into object.
I cannot help thinking that epistemophilia, the source of impulse for science, is an infinitely precious thread for thinking about questions such as these.
The repercussions of this displacement are perhaps most compelling in their connotations for the Freudian concepts of Wisstrieb, or epistemophilia, and Schaulust, or scopophilia.
The formation of the narrator's "plaint" symbolizes an untellable, unjust schism between scopophilia and epistemophilia.
Far from an indictment of epistemophilia
, however, the ARRB's
called the drive to knowledge [1974, VII, 194] or epistemophilia
Indeed, she is clearly standing in for the spectator, also energized by a desire to know, an epistemophilia
, a knowing through the eyes of what he would keep "private.
Inasmuch as it exceeds the projections of masculine epistemophilia
, the woman's body provokes the displacement of this drive into fantasies of brutalization: 'Le corps est sans defense aucune, il est lisse depuis le visage jusqu'aux pieds.
Green's contribution in this text is the suggestion of a positive and a negative narcissism, and epistemophilia
is the negative.
Rabinowitz argues that Famous Men, no less than other social documentaries, bears out Freud's contention that scopophilia, epistemophilia
, and sadism are closely linked (39)--and in many respects it does.
For instance, when Ambrosio uses his magic mirror to spy voyeuristicaliy on Antonia (later further unveiled as his sister) bathing in The Monk, his blind "Gothic gaze" reveals that both his scopophilia and epistemophilia