Present or absent shirts: creation of a lexicon of erotic intimacy and masculine mourning

Harper, C. (2017) Present or absent shirts: creation of a lexicon of erotic intimacy and masculine mourning. In: Erotic Cloth. Bloomsbury.

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This chapter argues that it is cloth’s relationship with a body that renders it erotic: it is the touch of textile on skin (or its noted absence) that alerts, awakens, enervates and stimulates both the imagination and the physical entity. And by the same token, it is how bodies (again present or absent) stain, enliven or render static the fabric – of shirts, swaddling, sheets, shrouds, and the like – that creates the simultaneous mesmeric and repulsed erotic charge that this essay seeks. Using a range of cultural and historical references, the essay conjures a narrative that links cloth to the sensational and the internalized, to memory and mourning, the sacred and the sublime, and ultimately to the ritualized moments and mythologies of desire and death. Just as pins mend and protect, they pierce, prick and punish: so too, the erotic cloth is both ecstatic and agonized, abject and engorged, traumatized and tumescent.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ12 Sexual life > HQ19 Sexual behaviour and attitudes. Sexuality
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts. Applied arts. Decoration and ornament > NK8800 Textiles
Depositing User: Debbie Bogard
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 11:57
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 12:43

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