Coming

Coming

Coming

Coming

Synopsis

Coming is a lyrical, erudite examination of the French notion of jouissance. How did jouissance evolve from referring to the pleasure of possessing a material thing (property, wealth) to the pleasure of orgasm, from appropriation to dis-appropriation, from consumption to consummation? Thephilosophers Adele van Reeth and Jean-Luc Nancy engage in a lively dialogue, ranging from consumerism to video games to mysticism and from Spinoza, Hegel, and Augustine to the Marquis de Sade, Marguerite Duras, and Henry Miller. Four additional essays are new to the American edition.

Excerpt

In French, the name of this book is la Jouissance. In English, Coming. In this way Charlotte Mandell solved the ever-renewed and strictly speaking impossible-tosolve difficulty posed by the translation of jouissance. This word designates the entire, limitless usage of a possession, with the twofold connotation of appropriation (or consommation, consumption) and pleasure carried to its height. (It stems from the Latin gaudium, joy, delight.) Hence its usage is divided into two distinct values: the legal meaning of complete ownership of a possession (one enjoys, jouit de, great wealth) or else the sensual meaning of a delectation or of voluptuousness— exclusively sexual voluptuousness following the usage that is dominant today in European French. The noun jouissance is thus used less to designate a state than the action or movement of jouir, enjoying—a verb that has also become mostly specialized in a sexual sense.

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