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Layton, L. (1998). Toward Postmodern Masculinities: Barnaby B. Barratt and Barrie Ruth Straus. American Image. LI, 1994. Pp. 37-68. Psychoanal Q., 67(2):348-349.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Toward Postmodern Masculinities: Barnaby B. Barratt and Barrie Ruth Straus. American Image. LI, 1994. Pp. 37-68

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(2):348-349

Toward Postmodern Masculinities: Barnaby B. Barratt and Barrie Ruth Straus. American Image. LI, 1994. Pp. 37-68

Lynne Layton

Arguing that psychoanalysis is both a modernist and a postmodernist discourse, the authors look first at the phallocentric oedipal narrative that positions all male subjects in particular ways. They then seek bodily and discursive practices that would disrupt phallic, homogenizing masculinity. Many feminists have discussed the way oedipal narrative positions man as subject, woman as obstacle/other. Here the authors focus on the father's wish to kill the son and the demand that he repress this wish if the species is to continue. The oedipus narrative represents masculinity as a trajectory from one ineluctable act of violence (repressed infanticide) to the next (repressed patricide). In the authors' Lacanian framework, a key task is to examine why culture routinely obscures the distinction between the penis and the phallus, thus allowing the male subject to deny the reality of

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castration. They seek practices in the breakup of patriarchy's own absolutism that might challenge this delusory pretense, and they suggest (1) a renewed experimentation with fatherhood, in which mortality is acknowledged and not defended against; (2) promotion of the eroticization of the whole body; (3) a logic of free association to replace phallocentric logic. Free association is always fluid and promotes a “non-identitarian” subject who is aware of a lack, one not oppressive to others.

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Article Citation

Layton, L. (1998). Toward Postmodern Masculinities. Psychoanal. Q., 67(2):348-349

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