the grips of an insatiable epistemophilia
of prodigious dimensions.
and the Collapse of the Restoration." Yale French Studies 101 (2001): 119-131.
Complicating this picture, says Das, was the role of what Toril Moi terms epistemophilia
; for the sheltered young middle-class women who became VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurses, the male body under treatment was itself the object of both "knowing and desire" (207).
(7) Indeed, Godwin's novel speaks rather prophetically about psychoanalysis as the symptom of an Enlightenment epistemophilia
Brooks posits an "epistemophilia
" in the reader, a desire to know, grounded perhaps in the earliest desires to know the whole map of the body's erogenous zones.
Namely the contemporary forms of this epistemophilia
, not just descriptive as in the basic sciences, but experimental, modifying the real, so violent that they soon produced this extraordinary paradox: on the threshold of life, frozen embryos; at the end of life, warm corpses, as though it were at the most sensitive moments of human experience, birth, death and communication, moments which once upon a time were reserved for the great narratives, and against a background of their obsolescence, that experimentation was unleashed.
As Toril Moi remarks, "Freudian theory posits the drive for knowledge (epistemophilia
) as crucially bound to the body and sexuality" (203), and the critical significance of the "difference" of the female body has been expounded in numerous manners since Freud's time.
While Freud attributes the genesis of intellectual curiosity and the drive for knowledge, termed "epistemophilia
' by Toril Moi (199), to the moment when a child becomes consciously aware of sexual differences, I do not believe that any single event exists as the site or the root of "original" or "primary" curiosity.
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." (11) It could not be clearer that the desire to know through the eyes is in its extreme a form of violent assault, leaving its object, Stevens, psychically ravished by her desire and the spectator's.
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.