8 October 2013

Book: Jonathan Kemp, The Penetrated Male

Jonathan Kemp's new book The Penetrated Male, published through open-access outfit Punctum Books, takes a discursive tour through key texts of early twentieth century literature to locate and unpack the lurking concept of the penetrated male body filling their pages.

From Daniel Paul Schreber through to James Joyce, The Penetrated Male assembles an argument which pushes against the binary reduction of the penetrated male with the feminine and its consequent threat of its erasure. Kemp draws together the threads of this incomprehensibility and inarticulability, outlining the struggle and the tantalising/terrifying failure of the logic of language to circumscribe the rupture posed by the penetrated male body. What he also finds in this pursuit is "a profoundly productive aspect of discourse, generating ways of opening up the male body":
"The penetrated male body ... is capable of not only exposing the gendered structuration of language, but of destroying the entire structure and using the pieces to build something else entirely: a form of representation more grounded in the shifting realities of flux and sensations, more geared towards registering the intensities of material bodies."
The Penetrated Male is available for free download from the Punctum Books website. You may also want to take some time to browse their catalogue of books, and journals published (not to mention their associated titles), many of which are open-access or print-on-demand if required in hard-copy.

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