The Masochistic Pleasures of Sentimental Literature

Synopsis

"A well-written and sophisticated study of nineteenth-century female masochism and its expression in the writing of middle-class American women of the period. Marianne Noble's plan is impressive: she is at once a thoughtful theorist and an admirable close reader of texts. The result is a work that engages in an illuminating and thought-provoking manner with extremely complex issues."--Suzanne Juhasz, University of Colorado

"Marianne Noble's book is the first study of sentimentality in American women's writing to go decisively beyond the impasse created by the Douglas-Tomkins debate. It brings acute and sophisticated perception to the study of a group of writers whose fate has frequently been to serve as stalking horses for other issues, rather than as objects of individual study in themselves. As a psychoanalytically oriented text, it is remarkably clear and persuasive, using theory to illuminate the dynamics of masochistic fantasy without obscurantism. This is a wonderful book."--Paula Bennett, Southern Illinois University