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Marshall, K. (2001). The Queering of Psychoanalysis: A Review of Beyond Sexuality by Tim Dean. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 37(2):353-361.

(2001). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 37(2):353-361

The Queering of Psychoanalysis: A Review of Beyond Sexuality by Tim Dean. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Review by:
Karol Marshall, Ph.D.

How is sexuality beyond? What is sexuality beyond? Sexuality is, among other things, beyond language, beyond comprehension, beyond logic. This important truth is hard to accept. As psychoanalysts we usually work to extend the reach of science to encompass the mysteries of human behavior, including sex. We wish to domesticate and tame sexuality, despite its essentially wild and irrational nature. We wish to understand.

To maintain a broader perspective we need reminders from outside our familiar scientific circle that sex is, despite all our wishes, beyond science. At the beginning and middle of the twentieth century, Freud and Lacan provided such reminders. Dean, in this collection of essays, tackles the same project, taking us beyond familiar ways of thinking to bring important aspects of sexuality into reach of psychoanalytic thought, while at the same time allowing them to retain their ineffable mystery.

Dean, student of Lacanian psychoanalysis, queer theorist, is an associate professor at the Department of English and at the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He brings a radical new reading to the fundamental wisdom of Freudian intrapsychic psychoanalysis. He considers many important questions: What is the nature of sexual desire? What is the role of the body in desire? What does the unconscious contribute? Why do people risk their lives for sexual pleasure? How can sexual experience be broadened and deepened? Dean's clear, logical presentation carries the reader steadily forward, while repeatedly depositing him or her on unfamiliar and unsettling frontiers.

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